Maintaining NZ’s clean green image is a responsibility the whole community can get behind, and AAI recognised we could do our bit to help. So recently a group of staff volunteers rolled up their sleeves and teamed up with Sea Cleaners to spend a day cleaning up the Rangitoto Island coastline.
Sea Cleaners is charity that does exactly as its name suggests - clean up New Zealand’s sea, harbours and oceans. Its vision is to preserve New Zealand’s coastline for the benefit of the marine life and for the enjoyment of all users. Since 2002, the team has removed over 5.1 million litres of rubbish from the sea.
Aware of the environmental impact of discarded plastic, and inspired by the opportunity to support Sea Cleaners, AA Insurance’s Make A Difference committee organised for a group of 10 staff volunteers to help out.
But it wasn’t easy; Rangitoto’s beautiful shoreline is surrounded by volcanic rock and razor sharp oyster shells. Equipped with rubbish bags and gloves, the team carefully picked their way across the rocks in search of trash.
It wasn’t long until they’d gained an appreciation for the sheer magnitude of coastal rubbish first-hand. After three hours, they had amassed over a cubic metre of rubbish – mostly plastic, with a couple of tyres and the odd parking ticket.
Despite being proud of their efforts and contribution to the Sea Cleaners cause, there was a shared sense of bewilderment at the amount of rubbish so easily and quickly accumulated. If, like the volunteers, all Kiwis did their bit and disposed of rubbish in eco-friendly ways (particularly plastic), we could not only live up to our clean green image but our environmental future would look all things bright and beautiful.