Second visit to clean up Clendon’s Pitt Avenue
Second visit to clean up Clendon’s Pitt Avenue Foreshore Reserve
On Saturday, 30 enthusiastic volunteers collected almost half a ton of litter along Clendon’s Pitt Avenue Foreshore Reserve. It’s the second time Conservation Volunteers NZ has run a ‘Let’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Together’ litter clean up there. In April, volunteers collected a ton of discarded rubbish from the foreshore making the total rubbish collected from Pitt Avenue a whopping 1.5 tons.
Run by Conservation Volunteers New Zealand the clean ups are a nationwide initiative to educate and encourage Kiwis to reduce, re-use and recycle, supported by Keep New Zealand Beautiful, Coca-Cola Foundation Beverage Container Recycling Community Grants.
The ‘Lets Keep New Zealand Beautiful Together’ litter clean ups create a better understanding of rubbish and its effect on our environment, waterways and even our own health,” says Conservation Volunteers New Zealand’s Manager Fiona McLaughlin. “The Manukau Harbour is degraded by human habitation with contaminants entering the eco-system, affecting wildlife in the area. We can all do our bit to stop the damaging effects of litter.”
Over the last five months Conservation Volunteers has run 81 ‘Let’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Together’ litter clean ups. To date over 1,500 volunteers from around the country have collected 12 tons of rubbish from creeks, river banks, beaches and reserves - rubbish, that if left, would eventually find its way into our waterways and oceans. Just like Pitt Avenue, by far the most common rubbish collected was made of plastic.
Conservation Volunteers Team Leader for the day Wendy John says the day was really successful. “We didn’t find a lot of the bigger rubbish this time, just one tyre. It was mainly the smaller rubbish like bottles, plastic bags, bottle tops, plastic wrappers and it’s this type of rubbish that does so much harm to our wildlife.”
Plastic breaks down in sea water and sun. These small fragments are a death trap to wildlife that become entangled, or mistake litter for food, feeding it to their young. Plastic bottle caps are one of the most commonly found items in the stomachs of sea birds.
Food wrappers often look like they are made of foil; however, most are made of plastic. Cigarette filters too are made of plastic. The toxic chemicals from discarded cigarette butts found in the water supply has been estimated at concentrations of around one cigarette butt per 7.5 litres of water on this earth.
Pitt Avenue volunteers were very happy to be part of the clean-up for Clendon with one helper’s comment typical of the sentiment, “It feels good to be seen doing something awesome for our community.”
Manukau residents are encouraged to discover how they too can make positive environmental changes by visiting www.alittlealot.org.nz and making a personal pledge such as recycling, walking instead of using a vehicle, getting involved with conservation projects with your local community and many more.
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand run conservation and environmental programmes including habitat regeneration, enhancing our waterways and protecting New Zealand’s special habitats and wildlife.
Founded in Australia in 1982, Conservation Volunteers expanded operations to New Zealand in 2006. Today, Conservation Volunteers is a leader in delivery of practical conservation programmes, community involvement and a range of training programmes involving over 10,000 volunteers across Australia and New Zealand every year.
For more information visit www.conservationvolunteers.co.nz.
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