More than 2,000kg of trash collected during Pulau Mabul's clean-up campaign

RAFIQAH DAHALI

KOTA KINABALU: In the move to create a clean society, conservationists and villagers at a popular diving destination – Pulau Mabul – have teamed up over the weekend to rid the island’s beaches of trash. Co-organised by Trash Hero Borneo and Scuba Junkie SEAS, 207 people, including children, collected 2,337kg of plastic, Styrofoam, aluminium cans and bottles from around the island, last Saturday. The conservation event also saw the launching of Trash Hero Semporna, an initiative to get the community involve in conservation and environmental cleaning effort. The programme was held in support of the Ketua Kampung’s clean-up campaign for Mabul, which has seen key initiatives established to provide waste management services on the island, including the establishment of more rubbish collection points. Trash Hero Borneo co-founder Monica Chin, in a statement said, they aimed to establish additional long-term, community-led initiatives on Pulau Mabul. “We actively engaged children through our multilingual kid’s programme, connecting environmental values with hands-on experience of the impact that trash has on the local and global environment. “Everyone has a role to play in reducing plastic waste. “Trash Hero has many global success stories on reducing single-use plastic pollution, which we can use in Sabah. “No one wants to see Sabah flooded with trash. If we worked together, we can make this change happen and be part of the solution,” she said. Scuba Junkie SEAS conservation manager David MacCann said they have several existing projects aimed at both preventing and tackling the problem of plastic waste. He noted that the work with Trash Hero for a community-led project has brought about a new dimension to everyone’s efforts. “Plastic waste is a huge problem, especially for the marine environment. But this global problem can be tackled through local solutions and this is something Scuba Junkie is fully committed to,” he said. MacCann stressed the global problem of plastic waste has received a lot of attention in recent months, notably the BBC series Blue Planet II, which documented the problems caused by single-use plastic to marine life. He said images of holiday beaches strewn with debris and videos of divers in seas of plastic have shocked many people to the core, stressing it is vital to the people from all walks of life understand the problem and work together to make a change. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd