By: Dr. Ernee Noryana Muhamad
MERSING, July 2 – The Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), has organised a beach clean-up activity with 34 students from Sekolah Menengah Kajang Utama (KUSeS) in Mersing to foster awareness about beach cleanliness.
This programme received cooperation from the Mersing District Council and has been held for three days with the theme of "Keep Our Beach Beautiful."
Programme coordinator, Dr. Ili Syazana Johari, said the sense of responsibility needs to be nurtured early and is not only limited to keeping the beach clean.
"Many people like to visit the beach, especially during school holidays, but have a careless attitude about waste management. We have found many containers for food and drinks and plastic bottles here," she said.
She added that garbage, especially plastic waste, not only pollutes the scenery and coastal environment but also threatens marine life if it carried by currents during high tide.
"Plastic waste that decomposes in the sea over time can turn into microplastics. Microplastics are plastics that undergo a process of decomposing until they become fine particles less than 5 millimetres.
"Microplastic pollution is a big threat to marine life and can be harmful to our health if we eat seafood such as fish contaminated by microplastics," she said.
During the beach clean-up activity, a total of 602 kg of garbage, mostly consisting of containers for food and drinks and plastic bottles, were successfully collected around Bandar Beach and Air Papan Beach, Mersing.
In addition, the dirty beach not only pollutes the scenery but also gives a negative perception to foreign tourists who visit Mersing in particular.
The students were then briefed on the turtle conservation campaign by the representative of NGO Tengah Island Conservation, Mohd Alzam Affendy.
According to him, Mersing Beach is one of the beaches in Malaysia where turtles lay their eggs, and it is important for the community to ensure that the beach area is clean and safe for turtles to land.
Meanwhile, a brief explanation about the types of plastics and waste management was also given by a lecturer from the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, UPM.
This informal knowledge transfer process was expected to increase students' knowledge and indirectly help students understand the types of waste, the importance of waste management and recycling.
At the end of the programme, the participants and the local community in the Mersing district together carried out the beach clean-up activity in conjunction with the “Johor Bersih 2022” programme, which was officiated by the Mersing District Council Chairman, Mr. Mohd Norman Haji Noh. - UPM
Date of Input: 27/07/2022 | Updated: 10/08/2022 | hairul_nizam
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