The Pacific Ocean covers more area on the planet than all of the land mass combined – and, unfortunately, it also accumulates significant amounts of pollution a year. With plastics taking upwards of 100 years to decompose, the litter is amassing more and more each year.
So Smith’s Hong Kong and Shenzhen offices decided to do something about it.
They partnered with BOCA’s (Blue Ocean Conservation Association) Ocean Guardians program to help clean up the local beaches – protecting the local mangroves in the process – in November 2017. In total, the group collected 717 pieces of trash, totaling nearly 93 pounds (42 kilograms) of litter. While it’s a drop in the bucket, the outing also planted the seed in the minds of the next generation.
“We all enjoyed participating. Some colleagues even brought their kids, as they wanted to pass the message of reducing pollutions and wastes to the younger generation,” said Grace Gong, Human Resources Specialist at our Hong Kong location. “It was a wonderful outing with the whole team!”
The top three types of litter found during the outing were cigarette butts, to-go containers, and plastics. These are items that are not only unsightly, but they can pollute the water and harm the unsuspecting sea life dwelling in the nearby ocean.
A little more about BOCA – it is China’s first non-profitable association in whose chief concern is ocean environmental protection. The group was founded in 2002 by divers with the Shenzhen Ocean World Aquarium. It was formally recognized in 2005 and is now one of the top influential environmental protection organizations in China.