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Photo by Anthea Hunt

Environment Council and Sustainable Coastlines


The AGHS Environment Council joined in with Sustainable Coastlines at the weekend for a beach clean-up at Te Ihutai / Avon-Heathcote Estuary.

We helped to remove a large amount of rubbish, including glass, plastic wrappers and two dumped flat-screen TVs!

We also took part in a litter intelligence audit. Litter Intelligence is a long-term programme that collects litter data, provides powerful insights about the problem, and inspires widespread action for solutions. Led by New Zealand charity Sustainable Coastlines, the programme works in close collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand.

The audit involved us collecting all the rubbish from a set area on the beach. This was then sorted, weighed, and counted to get a picture of what sort of rubbish there was. The results of our survey are here: https://litterintelligence.org/data/survey?id=1479.

Litter intelligence audits are carried out regularly at specific locations. The information gained helps to inform local businesses of environmental issues that they might be inadvertently causing, so that they get the chance to change practices. An example of a success story is from Taranaki, where the local survey indicated many blue foam squares washing up on the local beaches. These were glass protectors, used to hold apart panes of glass whilst they are being transported. The foam squares were reaching the beach via the storm drains located next to a company’s workshop. The company has since swapped from plastic based foam squares to environmentally friendly cork ones.