Gorontalo – Gorontalo’s whale sharks were greeted Sunday morning by dozens of people – but they weren’t interested in snorkeling with the world’s biggest fish. Children, students and public officials spread across the beach to clean up the plastic trash that stained its white sands.
A cleanup happens almost every Friday, the local government said, but several endorsements and a kick from handing out 100 paper invitations gave Sunday’s event in Botubarani village a jolt. IndiHome, Telkom Indonesia, Pesona Indonesia, Le Minerale water and local governments contributed sponsorships.
Le Minerale contributed 20 boxes of bottled water to the event that was meant to clean up plastic. Their bottles were some of the items collected on the beach. IndiHome and Telkom Indonesia bought snacks and a banner for the event. Pesona Indonesia said they joined the clean-up to study how to make the tourist destination sustainable.
Roughly 20 students from an SMK in the city also filled empty sacks with trash that range from diapers to plastic bags. At the end of the day, Stephanie Jedlitschka and the loyal children at her side worked the hardest to hand out the invitations and scour the entire length of the beach for trash.
Last month, 20,000 people across Indonesia in 76 locations took to their beaches to clear up beaches from plastics and other trash. Indonesia is the world’s second-worst plastics polluter, dumping 1.3 million tons of plastic into the ocean each year.