Our Beach Clean-Up Stories
The old saying goes, “it’s good to give back” but in this case “it is important to take it back!” If we want to thrive on this planet, we must realise how big our footprints really are!
Here at Velotrade we are not only enabling our clients and platform users to take part in the ESG transition, but we are also engaging in activities with direct and immediate impact.
For this reason, we organise beach clean-up events regularly throughout the year. Guess what we have learnt?
First Ever Velotrade Clean-Up
Sandy Bay 17 Sep 2021
Our first beach clean-up was organised near Velotrade HQ in Sandy Bay. Although it was a Friday afternoon event, many of our friends showed up, as many couldn’t attend. With as little as a few hours, we managed to pull a lot of trash from the beach.
It was also an excellent opportunity to chat with our friends on Velotrade’s latest initiatives on a casual Friday!
Event #2: Autumn Clean-Up
Lap Sap Wan 21 Nov 2021
Following the success of the first Velotrade clean-up in Sandy Bay, we organised the second clean-up on 21 Nov 2021.We are glad to see volunteering in beach-up becoming a more prevalent activity in Hong Kong. Yet, many more remote locations with urgent needs are out there, waiting for our hard work.
It’s time to up the game! That’s why we chose the second targeted venue in Lap Sap Wan near Cape D’Aguilar, Shek O.
A Priority Site: Refuse Accumulation Issue
Lap Sap Wan is one of the priority sites prone to refuse accumulation. The government conducted a large-scale cleaning work back in 2015, lasting for more than 400 days, collecting more than 8,800 bags of trash.
However, the effort of keeping the shoreline clean is not once and for all. Almost all year round, the prevailing wind and water currents worsen the pollution problem in the coastal area nearby.
During the dry season in the winter, easterly wind and sudden gusts bring land-based trash to the bay. When it’s the wet season, the strong waves carry the marine-based refuse to Lap Sap Wan from all directions.
Same Location, Different Challenges
Conditions have changed after the effort since 2015, but problems have changed.
During our site visit before the actual clean-up, we had an unexpected observation. Underneath the bulky refuse items, there were VERY thick layers of microplastics – hardly seeing the sand covered entirely.
The situation is very different compared to the government’s video from 2 years ago. Hence, regular clean-up activities are necessary to keep the site in good condition.
Pile up! A Hill of Trash Bags
Zooming out, the scenery of Lap Sap Wan is spectacular – perfect for outdoor activities on Sunday. As we followed the trail down the hill, every participant was shocked by the accumulated refuse in front of us.
Thanks to the help from the community, the event was extremely rewarding with visible effects. It was also an excellent opportunity to educate our next generation!
Using the abandoned buckets on-site, we worked together to fill the bags with loads of polystyrene. After hours of hard work, we finally revealed parts of the original beach surface.
Eventually, 40 of us managed to collect more than 60 bags of trash. Our human chain transferred the heavy bags away from the tides, piling a little hill of collected refuse. Every 1 to 3 weeks, the government sends vessels for transporting the collected refuse.
Another Clean-Up at Lap Sap Wan
Consistent effort is necessary for constant improvement.
Unfortunately, all sorts of events were prohibited due to COVID restrictions in early 2022. As soon as the situation allowed, we picked up our tools and gears, and head to Lap Sap Wan on 26 Jun 2022.
On that very sunny day, our volunteers collected bags after bags of disposable utensils, plastic straws, polystyrene and more microplastics embedded on the beach.
Needless to say, witnessing visible coastal improvements between events is highly satisfying.
All things are difficult before they are easy. We start with small steps to protect life below water.
The clean-ups are only the early chapters of our endeavour to impact society and the environment positively. We are preparing for future events to continue the devotion. Read more about our ESG initiatives at Velotrade.
Step by step, Velotrade hopes to grow sustainably with the community.
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