By Nina Wu
The Surfrider Foundation, Oahu Chapter, hosts its next beach cleanup at Mokuleia on Sunday (Oct. 13). The first 100 volunteers will get free entry into the polo match at Hawaii Polo Club plus a free lunch.
October is also Rise Above Plastics month, a campaign to raise awareness on plastic pollution in the ocean. Our ocean is turning into a plastic soup, with most of it starting as land-based litter on beaches, streets and dsidewalks. Rain washes the litter through the storm drain system, into rivers, streams and eventually, the ocean.
When plastics enter the marine environment, they don't biodegrade. Instead, they photodegrade into small pieces that fish and turtles mistake for food, oftentimes blocking digestion systems and causing death. Next time you go to a windward-side beach, look closely at the high tide water mark. You'll find little, itty-bitty pieces of colorful plastic in the sand.
You can make a difference, with simple, everyday actions to reduce plastic — particularly single-use plastics. Bring your own bag to the grocery store AND the retail store. Bring your own reusable cup to the coffee shop. Choose alternatives to plastic, like stainless steel or glass.
The beach cleanup takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at the Hawaii Polo Club, Mokuleia, 68-411 Farrington Highway. The Hawaii Polo Club and John Hopkins University alumni group are offering free entrance to the polo matches with lunch to the first 100 volunteers.