Dirty beach spruced up

Volunteers picking up rubbish and putting them in large bags or rattan baskets during the gotong-royong at Pantai Bersih in Butterworth.

IT was certainly a worthwhile Sunday morning for some 500 eco-warriors as they put the shine back to the beach in Pantai Bersih near the Bagan Ajam R&R (rest and relaxation) stop in Butterworth.

In the two-hour cleanup to help conserve the environment, a total of 647.4kg of rubbish was collected including 46.7kg of recyclable items.

Among them were 350 volunteers from SMK Convent Butterworth including teachers, students, parents, members of the school PTA and its alumni, and the rest from various organisations such as Flex Penang, the Malaysia Hindu Sangam, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) and several students from Seisen University, Tokyo, Japan who were in Penang for a study tour.

SMK Convent Butterworth school principal Lim Lean Yolk said the students were divided into several teams and given black plastic bags to collect the rubbish.

“This programme will help the students realise the importance of taking care of Mother Nature,” she said, adding that the event was also part of their green school project.

The school’s senior assistant (co-curriculum) Phan Cheng Mun said the recyclable items would be sold while the rubbish that was not recyclable would be taken away by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council for dumping.

“The beach cleanup is one of the school’s 25 green projects for 2019.”

The school’s PTA chairman M. Manogaran said they hoped to do this cleanup annually following the good response from all the parties including the students.

“We hope this event can instil love and care for the environment in the students,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy said he was shocked to see so much rubbish being dumped at the beach in Pantai Bersih.

“Each year, millions of tonnes of plastic waste are collected from the sea. This shows that the sea has become our waste collection centre.

“This happens because our community’s awareness is not there. People simply throw rubbish anywhere and finally, they end up in the sea.

“Those who come to this beach to eat and drink, and then throw their rubbish into the sea, lack civic consciousness,” he said.
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