Japanese man leads campaign to clean up HK beaches

December 06, 2016 13:51
Hiromasa Suzuki (inset) leads a group of Japanese volunteers to help clean up Hong Kong beaches. Photo: Facebook/ Hiromasa Suzuki

A Japanese man has become sufficiently bothered by the extent of rubbish being washed up on our beaches that he flew over to Hong Kong to help in cleaning them up.

Hiromasa Suzuki, 31, arrived on Nov. 25 with a group of more than 30 Japanese volunteers for a five-day campaign to clean up beaches in the territory, news website hk01.com reports.

Suzuki, who is from Okinawa, said Hong Kong is only the first stop of his efforts to help clean beaches all over the world.

A member of the Japanese environmental protection group Open Earth, Suzuki said news on TV about our polluted beaches, mainly due to garbage coming from the mainland, prompted him to come to the city in August this year to launch a one-man clean-up campaign.

He did the same thing in India in September.

Suzuki, who does not speak Cantonese, recalled that as he was picking up garbage on southern Lantau island and Golden Beach in Tuen Mun, he was surprised to see some local residents joining him in the campaign.

This led him to believe that he was doing a worthwhile endeavor, and he decided to return, but this time he was not alone.

He said the volunteers in his team were from all walks of life, including a 10-year-old boy, who, like the rest of them, shouldered the cost of the trip, which was more than HK$10,000 each.

Suzuki said his campaign has convinced him that individuals, through their collective efforts, can make the world a better place.

But the fact remains that pollution on Hong Kong beaches is worsening.

According to green group Designing Hong Kong, volunteers in a recent clean-up campaign picked up various types of medical waste on a beach in Discovery Bay, including blood collection tubes and syringes.

The group said it has reported the matter to the Environmental Protection Department but has received no response.

Members of the group are set to hold a rally in front of the government headquarters in Admiralty on Tuesday to urge the department to come up with measures to address the issue.

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