Last Friday, volunteers from HSBC and Lion Co. joined Conservation Volunteers New Zealand for our first NZ Corporate Clean Up Challenge in Auckland. Teams competed for two hours to see who could collect the most litter from around the Panmure Basin in Mt. Wellington and cleared a very impressive 168kg of rubbish that would have otherwise made it into the waterways. Lion took home the winners trophy after collecting 87kg, just slightly more than HSBC’s 81kg of trash. Both teams were amazing and really got stuck in.
The Panmure basin, the site of our first annual corporate clean up, is actually a tidal estuary within a volcanic crater and is part of the Tamaki Estuary, known as the most polluted waterway in Auckland. The world is currently producing nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic each year – with 25,000kg of plastic waste per day littered in New Zealand alone. A significant amount of this will end up in our oceans and impact on marine and bird life. Plastic pollution is a growing problem. All the plastics that end up in our waterways eventually break up into smaller and smaller pieces. Some of it floats, some of it sinks, but none of it ever disappears. Plastic continues to accumulate and circulate in our environment where marine animals can mistake it for food that can cause starvation, dehydration, internal damage or even death.
Teams were given two hours to collect as much rubbish as they could and were judged not just on weight but also on micro plastics collected. Thank you Lion and HSBC for doing your bit to protect our waterways.