North Taranaki Midweek
Littlies clean up beach litter
After learning all about how litter can end up in the sea, primary school youngsters on the north Taranaki border spent a day cleaning up their backyard beach.
Twenty-four Mo¯ kau Primary School students put on gloves and bright orange vests, and held hands as they walked in groups down to the local beach, picking up rubbish on the way.
Caige Bleu Wilson-Hamana was one of the smallest cleaners who took part.
The 5-year-old said he really enjoyed picking up the rubbish and being out in the sun.
In Caige’s group was 5-yearold Catherine Jansen, who was more focused on the task at hand than conversation.
‘‘I found four bottles in the bushes, but I don’t want to talk about rubbish,’’ she said.
Nine-year-old K’sharn Easton was one of the students leading the way and said she liked knowing she was helping to protect her two favourite ocean animals: dolphins and turtles.
‘‘We watched a video and a turtle got some rubbish around its neck, so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen.
‘‘All my rubbish when I’m at home or at the park, I have to find a rubbish bin or if I can’t find one I just wait until we go somewhere else and find a rubbish bin.
‘‘If people find rubbish anywhere, and it’s not theirs, just to pick it up and put it in the rubbish bin.’’
Teacher Kimberley Sharp ran the beach clean-up day and said getting the kids outside picking up rubbish was very successful.
‘‘It’s teaching the kids the impacts that waste has on the environment. We’ve talked about if you’re in the car and throw your rubbish out the window then what happens when it rains and that water carries that rubbish down to the sea.’’
The school had registered for a Nestle´ for Healthier Kids Sea Cleaners kit, which included the gloves they wore for Tuesday’s clean-up, their paper litter bags, and classroom teaching resources.
Ivey Tupu-Ngahere, 7, said keeping rubbish out of the waterways meant she could protect her favourite ocean animals – which was all of them.
‘‘The sea creatures, they might eat rubbish in the sea and choke. That’s what we learnt in class.’’