VILLAGE & COASTAL CLEAN-UP PROJECT
Duration: February 2022 - now
About the project
Millions of animals are killed by plastic every year. From birds to fish and other marine organisms, nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are affected by plastics.
Most animal deaths are caused by entanglement or starvation. Almost every species of seabird eats plastic. Seals, whales, turtles and other animals are strangled by abandoned fishing gear or discarded six-pack rings.
Microplastics are found in more than 100 aquatic species, including fish, shrimp and mussels destined for our dinner plates. These small plastic pieces pass through the digestive system. Some are expelled without consequences, but plastics were also found to have blocked digestive tracks or pierced organs, causing death. Stomachs that are so full of plastic reduce the urge to eat, causing starvation among the animals.
Plastic waste: a global problem
Half of all plastics ever produced, were made in the last 15 years. The production is expected to double by 2050. Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes from coastal states into the oceans. That’s the equivalent of placing five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of the coastline around the world. Some plastic, like bags and food wrappers, are used just a few minutes to hours. But they persist in the environment for hundreds of years.
We can prevent this from happening to our ocean animals together. Our beaches are the bridge between our world and the ocean. We have to keep our beaches clean, if we want to keep our oceans clean. Beaches are home to various creatures, from sea lions to sea turtles. Many animals depend on this land to survive. By keeping the environment trash free we help protect and preserve marine life.
Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues. The rapidly increasing production of single-use plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. Plastic pollution is most visible in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Here waste collection systems are often in-efficient or non-existent. The developed world, especially in countries with low recycling rates, also struggles with the proper collection of discarded plastics.
Plastics move around the world
Most of the plastic waste in the oceans flows off land. Waste is also transported to the sea by large rivers. Picking up more and more waste as they move downstream. Once at sea, a large part of the plastic waste remains in coastal waters. But entangled in ocean currents, it can be transported around the world.
Sunlight, wind, and wave action break down plastic waste into very small particles. These microplastics are scattered throughout the water column and are found in every corner of the world. From the Mount Everest, the highest peak, to the Mariana Trench, the deepest trough. Microplastics continue to break down into smaller and smaller pieces. They are found in municipal drinking water systems and float through the air.
Help us decrease plastic in Zanzibar
Throughout the year NGO Under The Wave organizes several village & beach clean-ups in collaboration with World Unite volunteers, hotels, the community and schools. Coastal clean-up events help to prevent plastics from entering the ocean. And make the community aware of waste flowing into the ocean.
Beach clean-up is only a small part of the solution. It is a fun event. Mainly to show the problem to the community rather than a real long-term answer. Marine pollution is a serious issue. It must be addressed at its source. Therefore we compile data on all the waste collected. This helps us to determine the cause of the pollution. After this we will initiate discussions with the government and local communities on better waste management solutions.
In our environmental education program, children and the community learn about plastic pollution and how they can change their behavior. We believe that local communities have the power to enact big change!
Do you want to help to reduce the plastic in Zanzibar? We are grateful for your donation for the village & coastal clean-up project! Thanks a lot!