Originally, we planned on doing a beach cleanup as our launch party back in September 2020, but the pandemic had other plans. As COVID-19 in Hawai'i stabilized, we felt it was safe to do a socially-distanced event and do our part. For our very first beach cleanup, we partnered with Hawai'i Community 808, a local group that hosts cleanups across the O'ahu. We also held a contest to see which team could pick up the most trash and which team could gather the most microplastics. Each winner received some special goodies from Kaiona Swimwear. Congrats to our winners and mahalo (thank you) to everyone who volunteered their time and worked their butts off in the hot sun to make the ocean a little bit cleaner.
With the large winter swells and strong winds, lots of trash landed on our shores. Makapu'u Beach in Waimanalo was chosen as the location of the cleanup due to the insane amount of microplastics that were reported. When we arrived, the beach was littered with colorful plastic, especially on the north side of the beach. Microplastic isn't a type of plastic, but rather a size. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Chemicals Agency classifies any plastic fragment less than 5mm as a microplastic. These tiny plastics are very hard to pick up and are easily eaten by wildlife and even humans! Our crew used sifters to get all the small pieces, but it's endless work.
We had a great turnout and were able to remove multiple trash bags worth of microplastics and other rubbish from the beach. It was very heavy to haul up to the parking lot so we did good guys! By the end of the beach cleanup, we collected glass bottles, cans, lots of food packaging, slippers, buoys, a discarded beach chair, rope, fishing nets, and handfuls of plastic.
We're in the midst of planning more beach cleanups and other events. Stay informed by subscribing to our email list and following us on Instagram. Hope to see you at our next event!