International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is a global event initiated by Ocean Conservancy (OC) in 1986. Its aim is to engage citizens to remove trash and debris from beaches and waterways all around world, identify the sources of debris, and change the behavioral patterns that contribute to pollution (www.oceanconservancy.org).
The Green Council (GC) has been the official Hong Kong & Macau coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) since 2008. During the cleanup activities, data cards are completed by the volunteers, then GC compiles and analyses the data from all the completed data cards. The final result will be published and used to educate the public, business, industry and government authorities about marine debris issue in Hong Kong. Through education and awareness of such issues will bring forth long term solutions and changes in behavior.
Importance of ICC
Marine debris is a serious and worsening problem in marine and coastal environments worldwide, and Hong Kong's waters and coasts have not escaped this problem. The United Nations Environment Program's State of the Marine Environment report suggests that the main ocean-based sources of marine litter found in East Asian waters are shipping, ferries and cruise liners, fishing vessels, aquaculture, mariculture, and offshore oil and gas platforms; while the main land-based sources are coastal municipal sewage, storm water, industrial facilities, solid waste from landfills, untreated waste water, and tourism (recreational visitors to the coast). All of these sources need to be addressed in a comprehensive strategy to reduce marine debris in Hong Kong's waters.
Engage people to identify the sources of debris
Remove and record marine debris collected from the beaches and waterways in Hong Kong
Influence and change behavioral patterns that contribute to pollution
Build team spirit
Provide opportunities for local environmentally concerned and responsible businesses to demonstrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the community