September/October Newsletter 2017
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Post-Typhoon Hato  beach cleanups removed tonnes of broken up polystyrene!

What Do Typhoons Show Us?

Hong Kong was impacted by three typhoons in less than two weeks and the devastation left behind was very telling. Cleanups all around the city continue to repair and remove damaged buildings, fallen trees, and of course all the debris and plastic rubbish from storm surges and flooding. The cleanups will continue for a very long time, not just by the government's contract cleaners and staff, but also by the many hundreds of volunteers who come out to do what they can for their local beaches, coastal areas and green spaces.

After every major typhoon the most obvious and most difficult type of plastic to clean up is the white pollution - polystyrene, which is sometimes referred to as styrofoam. The destructive winds and powerful waves make short shrift of this lightweight material, pounding it into tiny fragments that cover the beaches and coast with  'plastic snow', at times to significant depth. If it is not removed quickly it will be flushed back out to sea where it can easily enter the food chain*.

There has been some work to replace the white insulating boxes used in fish markets, but perhaps it is time for the government to implement some restrictive legislation on this seriously problematic material across the board. If polystyrene was banned from use in fish markets, wet markets, supermarkets and on fishing boats, we would not see the same scale of pollution across Hong Kong each time a storm hits.

The 'costs' of polystyrene usage are huge. Whether cleaned up by volunteers or the government, there is a monetary cost associated with removing polystyrene from the beaches and an environmental cost to our food chain, and the consequences of the increasingly plastic-polluted marine environment on our plant and animal life are becoming increasingly evident. 

When you add to those costs the fact that polystyrene is not generally recycled, the need for an alternative to this harmful material is clear. Whether mandated by the government, encouraged through a producer responsibility scheme or driven by consumers, most people would agree that a reduction in the use of polystyrene is absolute.

A rainbow of volunteers coming out to help remove polystyrene and everything else from the beaches
On Land, On the Beach and Out at Sea
Random Acts of Environmental Kindness!
Much of what Plastic Free Seas teaches people in schools, workplaces and the community is to create new habits which will create less waste. A different way of looking at this would be to think of this as Random Acts of Kindness directed at our environment.  What kind act could you do now?
  • Pick up a piece of litter from the street on your daily commute? 
  • Say thank you for caring to someone you see doing an act of environmental kindness (using reusable bags, coffee mugs or bottles)
  • Write a letter/email/tweet/social post praising a company for good waste reduction practices? 
  • Smile and thank the person who collects your rubbish and recyclables from your home, school or office 
  • Change your exercise routine (with friends) to include a workout on the beach doing a short cleanup (it is certainly needed after the typhoons!)
  • Pick up after yourself and take your stay-in cup/tray back to the collection point or service counter (especially during rush hour)
  • Treat someone to a hot drink in a reusable mug

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.
Dr Seuss – The Lorax

Calling all teachers!
We are currently planning a major overhaul of our website to be an interactive trilingual educational resource with the new addition of downloadable lesson plans for teachers to use within their classes. Can you help us with lesson plan development and writing? Please get in contact here.
What Can You Do Today?
Connect with Plastic Free Seas:
Click on the links below to request a school talk or to discuss the corporate programs we offer. Do you know of an event coming up that could have Plastic Free Seas as a charity partner?

Who can you connect us with today?

               A School?
                 A Company?
                 An Event?
Take Action
#ImNotLovinIt Campaign from BreakFreeFromPlastic focuses on highlighting the continued double standard usage of polystyrene cups in McDonald's in some cities and countries despite corporate phaseout commitments. Let's start a wave of change by pushing for all fast food restaurants to go polystyrene free.
Find out more on Twitter Instagram Facebook
Are You Up For A Challenge?
Could you give up plastic for a week to help save the planet?
The ‘No Plastics Challenge’ is exactly what the name suggests. It involves giving up single-use plastic for one week. Read how one local resident did it.

Upcoming Events 

Do you have an event coming up that could benefit from having a waste-free water dispensing system? Please check out Urban Spring

Read the News - What is happening with waste in our world?

Plastic Free Seas Merchandise
Sales from Plastic Free Seas merchandise financially supports the school education programs. Some stocks are limited. With water bottles, cutlery sets, Plastic Ocean books, PFS' iconic Smiley tees, there is something for everyone to use or receive as a gift.
Psssst! For a limited time the Smiley tees are on sale!
Shop Now
Thank You for Supporting Plastic Free Seas
Plastic Free Seas is grateful for the generosity and support from individuals, companies, schools and foundations to fund our education programs.  If you want to contribute, your donation large or small will help continue to run the PFS land, beach and sea activities.
Are you having a party?
Why not donate to Plastic Free Seas through TwoPresents  it's a great platform for charity giving for birthday or festive celebrations! 
Copyright © 2017 Plastic Free Seas, All rights reserved.


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Plastic Free Seas · 21/f Chun Wo Commercial Centre · 23-29 Wing Wo St · Sheung Wan · Hong Kong

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