‘It’s like swimming in rubbish’ at Nudie
A Waiheke Island resident has been saddened to find her favourite swimming beach awash with plastic.
Osher River Oriyah said she went for her regular swim at Little Palm Beach on Tuesday morning when she noticed something was different.
‘‘I was going for a swim and I noticed all these bits of plastic in the water. At first I thought they were jellyfish,’’ she said.
‘‘This time instead of clear water, I found myself swimming with lots of mostly small plastic scraps. It was like swimming in rubbish.’’
Oriyah, who has lived on Waiheke for about six months, said she had travelled to places like Israel and experienced severely littered beaches in the past. But she hadn’t expected to find the same problem at a New Zealand beach.
Usually she viewed swimming in the ocean as a cleansing experience.
But after Tuesday’s swim she felt the need to take a shower, she said.
Oriyah wasn’t the only beach lover who noticed the litter.
A local man said he’d ‘‘picked up lots’’ of plastic at the same beach on Wednesday. ‘‘There was a dead sea bird and a dead fish.’’
‘‘If you collect enough you could build a kayak,’’ another resident said.
Residents have also reported plastic and other litter in the sea at the popular main Palm Beach, saying it often comes in with the tide.
And keen track walker Erica Week, who has lived on the island for many years, said the situation at Park Point was ongoing with rubbish littering the coastline.
‘‘Every time I go down there, I pick up a large sack’s worth of trash and plastics,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s shocking.’’ Meanwhile, a group of Wai- heke residents are eyeing up straws as a new target for abolition after the island led the way in having plastic bags banned in major supermarkets.
Waiheke Countdown started charging for biodegradable plastic shopping bags in May 2016.
Now a group called New Earth Optimism, which has members on the island, is pushing for a ban on plastic straws.
One of the members, Anna Dawson, has also started a group called Plastic Free Pantry.
It offers unpackaged seeds and nuts at Ostend market. See Plastic Free Pantry on Facebook.