Between the 24th and 29th November, over 600 volunteers from the Art of Living will join hands with the ROLE Foundation to clean up Sanur beach to restore the area’s natural beauty. The Art of Living volunteers are gathering together from all around the world to take part in a series of yoga and meditation courses led by its founder H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Every year over six million tons of debris enters the world’s oceans. Every square kilometre of ocean is estimated to contain 18,000 pieces of floating plastic. Plastic debris takes hundreds of years to break down and is devastating to marine wildlife, claiming the lives of 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and a million sea birds every year!
Mike O’Leary, President of the ROLE Foundation says, “Turtles mistake plastic bags for Jellyfish, their favourite food, and seabirds will eat anything that floats. Birds cannot differentiate real food from toothbrushes and cigarette lighters. These plastics cannot be broken down, accumulating in the animal’s stomach causing slow death by starvation.”
“Much of the rubbish isn’t discarded at the beach or directly off a boat; it’s either blown or washed into the sea along rivers and streams,” says Simon Shave, Coordinator for the event. “Once it reaches the ocean it can travel for thousands of miles. Some of the rubbish we will collect will have travelled further than some of our volunteers from overseas have done to be here.”
Shave is under no allusion about the scale of the task. “We will leave this beach spotless when we go, but the rubbish will start to return on the very next high tide. We have to stop treating the ocean as our garbage bin.”
O’Leary adds “With the second longest coastline in the world, this is a problem Indonesia cannot afford to ignore. It is the frontline in the battle to save our oceans.”
If you would like to get involved, the Clean-Up centre of operations is the Grand Inna Bali Beach Hotel, Sanur. For more info, go to artoflivingindo.org