Project Jonah volunteers around New Zealand took part in a global day of action today against marine debris.
"Each year more than 7 billion tonnes of rubbish makes its way into our oceans and kills, maimes and injures marine wildlife. The scale of the problem is huge but the good news is we can do something about it", says Project Jonah CEO, Kimberly Muncaster.
Volunteers turned out in force on Saturday to do their 'bit' on International Coastal Cleanup Day. With organised events taking place in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson in addition to dozens of locally organised events around the country, people of all ages rolled up their sleeves to tackle the problem.
Topping the list of items found were cigarette butts, plastic bags and glass bottles. Amongst the more unusual and unsavoury items collected; a broken toilet, bicycle pump, dirty nappies and condoms.
The data collected will be part of a global report compiled by the Ocean Conservancy giving a 'global snapshot of marine debris' around the world. Last year almost 400,000 volunteers in more than 100 countries collected more than 3.2 million kgs of rubbish - the weight of 18 blue whales.
"It was great to see people of all ages coming together and getting stuck in. It was a team effort all round, with lots of help from local councils and the generous support of sponsors like the Ecostore."