Hawaiian Paddle Sports and Hawaii Mermaid Adventures hosted Maui’s International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 15 at Po‘olenalena Beach Park. In two-and-a-half hours, more than 40 volunteers contributed to the more than 220 million pounds of trash that has been cleaned from our waterways and beaches since The Ocean Conservancy launched International Coastal Cleanup events 30 years ago.
Volunteers, including locals and visitors, helped pick up thousands of pieces of trash in just over two hours. The “most likely to find trash” cleaned from Po‘olenalena included cigarette butts (525), food wrappers (88), straws (32), plastic bags (28), bottle caps (347), bottles (76), and cans (29). In addition to “regular” trash, the cleanup yielded fishing gear, packaging material, and nearly 1,000 pieces of “tiny trash,” (measuring less than 2.5 centimeters) including foam, glass, and plastic pieces. The personal hygiene items were few; only one diaper and seven tampon/tampon applicators. The items described as having the most local concern included drug paraphernalia (two items), Band-Aids (13), and human waste in bags (which they did not total).
The cleanup of small plastic pieces topped the list with cigarette butts a close second, which is relevant to Hawaiian Paddle Sports’ work with the Eat Less Plastic Campaign. Also, the volunteers were given lunch and t-shirts provided by Pau Maui Vodka, A Makebelieve Company, and Pele’s Pizza.
Maui’s International Coastal Cleanup event is supported by Malama Maui Nui in conjunction with The Ocean Conservancy’s international cleanup efforts. Maui’s International Coastal Cleanup was organized by Hawaiian Paddle Sports as part of its Malama Maui community give back program. To learn more, visit HawaiianPaddleSports.com/Malama-Maui.
Photo courtesy Hawaiian Paddle Sports