When you consider the numbers, it’s overwhelming. Like…reports show the oceans contain 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris, or 46,000 pieces of plastic per every square mile of ocean. Microplastics, or small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long, are becoming more and more of a concern to not only the quality of our ocean, but the marine life who call it home.
A disturbing amount of microplastics end up on our shorelines here on Maui. The sands around Kahului Harbor are littered with them, and that beach was the focus of our second cleanup event!
Fork & Salad sponsored a beach cleanup for the first time in October 2019, and we were so inspired by the volunteers and the difference they made in just a few short hours. So we were simply stoked to partner with Surfrider Foundation, Maui Chapter for this beach cleanup event at Kahului Harbor on February 15th, which attracted a whopping 170 volunteers and collected 500 pounds of trash! Volunteers even came on their vacations to help. Surfrider provided giant sifters to help in collecting all those tiny microplastics, and some volunteers brought their own smaller sifters! See the process and check out the staggering amount of debris that was gathered in our video above.
Surfrider Foundation not only helps our beaches, but also tracks water quality and builds awareness about ocean-friendly practices. It’s a wonderful group, and we’re so happy to help bolster their efforts and provide some food for the hard-working volunteers! Our terrific techs at Fork & Salad Kahului got chicken and eggplant wraps together for the first 50 volunteers who signed up!
We were all grateful to the State Dept. of Transportation Harbors Division; this awesome crew learned about the cleanup and arranged to pick up all the trash and haul it away; a tremendous help!
There are ways YOU can help on a daily basis. Pick up the trash you see around you at the beach. Dine-in with us and use our silverware and mason jars. For takeout, bring reusable containers, as Director of Operations Lauren Mann shows us in this video!
As large and looming as those plastics stats may be, small steps can reach farther and farther, as more people get involved. And “people” include kids, too, since a beach cleanup makes for a great weekend family activity!! Thank you for helping to make a difference with us. #EatLocalEatHealthy