KOTA KINABALU: More than 300 members of the public participated in the Tanjung Aru Beach Festival – Beach Clean-up activity. The one-hour voluntary activity, covered 2-kilometres of Tanjung Aru Beach on Saturday.
The beach clean-up marks the start of the two-day Tanjung Aru Beach Festival from October 26 to 27.
Organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah through Sabah Tourism Board’s subsidiary Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd (SPS) in collaboration with Trash Hero Borneo, the pack managed to collect 179 kilograms of trash strewn all over the beach.
The trash collected include plastic bottles, plastic bags and packaging, food wrappers and cigarette butts; detracting from the natural beauty of the shore and harming wildlife.
“I am happy to see such enthusiastic individuals who volunteered at the beach clean-up and I truly hope we can continue this meaningful event annually.
“Sabah Tourism Board is also promoting Volunteer Tourism in depth to focus more on the preservation and sustainability of environments to keep our State clean and green,” said Kevin Chin Kui Vun, Deputy General Manager of Sabah Tourism Board.
The morning event attracted about 120 students from Management & Science University (MSU College Sabah), 90 volunteers from Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, 30 volunteers from Sabah Tourist Association (STA), 20 volunteers from IMAGO Mall, as well as other agencies in the Ministry, organisations, and individuals.
Children aged from three years old also joined their parents in the activity. “This encourages an early education for the young ones in taking care of our environment,” Kevin added.
Trash Hero Borneo organises clean up all year round in Sabah on a voluntary basis. This year, MSU College Sabah collaborated with Trash Hero Borneo to participate in the TABF Beach Clean-Up.
“We aim to make changes to reduce waste and the use of plastics in our daily life. Trash Hero Borneo is the NGO that we believe will inspire us to make a change as well as to spread awareness to the public and the students of MSU College Sabah.
“We also aim to do more community service to embed our leadership, communication, and collaboration skills. It is also to achieve the aim in fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as SDG No. 14 – Life Below Water and SDG No. 15 – Life on Land” said Ahmad Qamyl, 21, President of Student Council of MSU College Sabah.
Ryannie Neil Yong, 24, Miss Scuba Malaysia 2019 also volunteered at the beach clean-up.
“The activity is very educational and create good awareness for the public. One of the most disgusting trash that I picked up was a full cup of spoiled Milo that was left in the public.
“In addition to that, there were a lot of cigarette butts found at the Park area. I hope that through this activity, the public will be more aware of the proper way to dispose their trash especially candy wrappers which can lead to a build-up microplastics over time as it is bad for the environment,” she added.
Beach goers are encouraged to join the festival that offers a wide array of activities including classes for the public to have a hands-on such as Try Up Surf, Yoga by the Beach, and Sandcastle Building Competition to name a few.
The 2-day festival also includes exhibition booths and enjoy the Art Installation by the Beach, busking entertainment, and play in a bouncy castle for children from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Food trucks and a variety of stalls will also be available throughout the festival.
The complete programme is available at www.hellosabah.my.