110 Volunteers. 44 jumbo silo bags. 1.5 metric tons of debris.
On International Coastal Cleanup Day, 110 Parley volunteers collaborated to intercept 1.5 metric tons of plastic debris in the Maldives, where we’re implementing our Parley AIR Strategy nationwide. The group filled 44 jumbo silo bags in just 3 hours, from less than 1 km of shoreline.
The amount of marine plastic debris at the site was far more than initially expected. As volunteers collected plastic waste, more continued to appear in the layers of sand and between the shrubs. Even though the cleanup was successful, collecting waste is an ongoing operation effort because more continues washing up on the shore everyday.
“I hope our communities never normalize plastic pollution enough to not feel and understand the destruction that comes with it, and the processes that lead to it.”
Local field coordinators shared their experience on the ground. As Fathmath Hulwa Khaleel said, “Someone pointed out a bird nest to me, and it took me some time to realize that what she was calling attention to was the amount of plastic that the mother bird had used to create the nest! Somehow my eyes and brain had filtered out the plastic to focus on the bird. There is such a thing as having a trained eye for plastic.”
The Parley Maldives program unites government, business, NGOs, schools and communities with its initiatives focused on plastic interception, recycling innovation and youth education. In addition to Parley AIR implementation, we focus on deepening scientific understanding of marine cultures and environments through promoting stewardship, awareness and solutions in local communities.