KOTA TINGGI,  21 September 2020 – The Tanjung Balau Beach Cleanup Day was organised by the Student Experience Unit, UTM International on 19th September 2020 in conjunction with The International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) Day 2020  as an awareness campaign to address the litter problems in Tanjung Balau Beach at Kota Tinggi. The clean-up event which involved 37 volunteers from UTM Skudai comprising UTM International staff, international and local students as well as 4 staff from the South East Johore Development Authority also known as KEJORA.

The ICC is one of the world’s biggest annual volunteering events to protect the oceans, as millions of people around the world would gather to collect trash along beaches and record information on the types of trash collected.

This cleaning event was truly an exhilarating experience. The amount of rubbish was beyond our expectation. We had gathered around 400kg of rubbish from the whole beach area. These volunteers were either using litter picker tool or picking the trash up one by one along the beach into waste bags. The most common items collected were plastic bottles, food wrappers, plastic grocery bags and baby diapers. All the rubbish were then collected by KEJORA.

According to Ocean Conservancy, 75% of land-based ocean plastic is from uncollected waste that makes its way to waterways before eventually reaching the ocean. Marine debris has a widespread impact on life in the ocean, and much of it is plastic and other trash discarded. If this problem is not immediately addressed, it will lead to the endangerment of ecosystem as the current cleanliness of our beaches is already in alarming condition.

After the cleaning session, this one-day programme was continued with recreational activities along the beach. These activities seemed to be more enjoyable and inherently satisfying as we felt that our mother nature was rewarding us for the good deeds.

We hope that this effort will help in raising awareness to protect our beaches. Nevertheless, we urge all people to take care of our beach and reduce the usage of plastic by following 3R principle which are reduce, reuse and recycle.