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Environmental, social and governance

More than 100 volunteers clean beach in Shek O for Hong Kong pollution awareness campaign

Event is a joint effort by locals and foreigners, including diplomats from Europe and the US

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 8:20pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 11:01pm

More than 100 volunteers, including over 20 diplomats, got their hands dirty on Saturday for a good cause – to clean up a beach located on the south-eastern part of Hong Kong Island.

The group of locals and foreigners, armed with just gloves and garbage bags, cleared some 900kg of waste from Rocky Bay Beach and adjacent shorelines in 1.5 hours.

Rocky Bay Beach, which faces the South China Sea, is a small stretch of sand behind Shek O Beach.

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It is quiet and peaceful because of its isolated location, but more tourists are discovering this hidden gem and heading to the area, bringing with them trash which pollutes the marine environment.

The clean-up event, organised by the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macau and the Italian Chamber of Commerce, aimed to raise awareness about marine litter.

Carmen Cano, head of the office, said marine pollution was a global problem.

“Our oceans are dying and we all need to do our share [to prevent this] before it is too late,” she said.

“It is estimated that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans. It would be a serious social and economic problem.”

Cano added she was glad to see both locals and foreigners turn up for the event, as well as children, who were able to learn valuable lessons from the experience.

Other diplomatic officials who joined included envoys from the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Romania, Finland and the US.

Daisy Lo Chi-yun, an assistant director from Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department and Dr Robert Lockyer, operations director of conservation group AquaMeridian Conservation and Education Foundation, were also there to show their support.

Heavy rain in the morning gave way to fairer weather for the rest of the day as the 100-strong group worked to clean up the beach.