Straws, straws, and more straws

Guimaras Island Clean up with the Yala family


Length of beach covered ~ 10m

Sacks collected – 1 rice sack

Volunteers – 4 from the Yala family


Main items collected – Straws! So many of them. This is a direct result of tourists coming and grabbing a soft drink and leaving their straw on the beach. I saw it happen. Please leave no footprints! Please say no to straws!


As you can see not all clean ups have been about big numbers, sometimes it’s about getting out yourself and educating the caretakers/guardians that live directly by the sea. I tried to work with a range of demographics throughout this trip from fisherman, to students and those with a very good understanding of the dangers of plastic pollution in Manila. The aim of this was to work out a game plan for a future NGO tackling marine debris.


In Guimaras, with the wind turbines spinning behind us we pulled two sacks of plastic off the beach. We explained the importance that plastic is removed from the beach environment even if it is tourists that leave it there. Guimaras in general, however is a very natural place and it shows how a small population to land area ratio can help the situation. As I keep telling people we have 4 million odd people in New Zealand for the same land area as the Philippines, environmentally we have fewer challenges because of this, however we are consuming more, and recycling plastic is flawed, so we are not perfect. I will be working to reduce plastic consumption in both the Philippines and New Zealand. This is very much a global problem.



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