City trash chokes sea life

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It’s a dirty job but some­body has to do it.

A team from Auck­land-based Sus­tain­able Coast­lines hit Quay St on Mon­day to re­move float­ing rub­bish from the waterfront street’s drains in an­other bid to make peo­ple think twice be­fore lit­ter­ing.

As the coun­try cel­e­brates the sea dur­ing this week’s Seaweek, the char­ity is re­mind­ing res­i­dents the trash be­low our city’s streets can end up on our beaches and get trapped on is­lands in the Hau­raki Gulf.

Al­most 2000 pieces of rub­bish were re­moved from half of Queen St’s drains in a project car­ried out by Sus­tain­able Coast­lines last year to as­sess the ex­tent and types of rub­bish in stormwa­ter drains.

The big­gest of­fend­ers were 590 cig­a­rette butts, 475 food wrap­pers and con­tain­ers, 285 cig­a­rette pack­ets, 208 pieces of poly­styrene and 91 caps and lids.

Last month’s cleanup of Ran­gi­toto Is­land net­ted al­most 1500 in­di­vid­ual items of rub­bish.

Project man­ager Cam­den Howitt says once trash gets into the coastal and marine en­vi­ron­ment it can have devas- tat­ing ef­fects on wildlife.

‘‘The bot­tle caps, cig­a­rette lighters, drink­ing straws and all other man­ner of dis­pos­able plas­tic prod­ucts that we drop on our streets can very quickly end up out at sea and on our beaches,’’ Mr Howitt says.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

Trash trail: Sus­tain­able Coast­lines Pa­cific project li­ai­son Anna Mathieson, left, and event man­ager Mitzi Borren get their hands dirty to re­move rub­bish from the stormwa­ter drains along Auck­land CBD’s Quay St.

Quay clean-up: Sus­tain­able Coast­lines project man­ager Cam­den Howitt, right, lends a hand to the clean-up ef­fort.

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