Well the day started off with research into Sinopec Petroleum. Their websites “CONTACT US” page is blank, and after trying to speak with them, both Tracey and I were hung up on! Not quite the Social Responsibility that they so heavily promote on their website. After several more call to the local media we had a meeting with Hong Kong Resorts City Management. Though the beach is a Government Beach and not really their responsibility to clean, Mr Kenneth Chan [Senior Estate Manager] offered a cleanup team for an hour to remove the full SINOPEC bags that were on the beach (19) and see what they could do with some of the higher concentrated polluted areas.
Upon arrival at the beach, I think Kenneth got a real feel for the scope of the problem. The team from HKR did an amazing job, spending the whole afternoon trying to clear up as much as possible before night fall. The FEHD (Food & Environmental Hygiene Dept) also turned up as well as the Marine Dept and the whole operation had a glimmer of hope as we started to see sand again!
With the cleanup operation in full swing, I decided to walk to the end of the beach to check out the rocks and further around the bay and into the next. Whilst on a telephone interview with the South China Morning Post, I started to find more bags! The original 30bags, became 42…..which fast became 56. Then I came around the next headland and was blown away with the extent of the problem, and now I am just hoping that reporter Cheung Chi Fai doesn’t quote me word for word. In total we are now looking at over 200 25kg bags of plastic nurdles. More than half of these bags were ripped and empty!
Last night Tracey weighed the nurdle samples and calculated approx 1 million nurdles per 25kg bag! So we are now looking at 200 million nurdles just in this small bay, and half of those are now within the eco-system! With these numbers reported to FEHD, we were informed that this has now become officially an ‘Environmental Disaster’ and now the Harbour Master of Hong Kong has taken over the running of the clean up operation with the Marine Dept!
Lets see what tomorrow brings. Fantastic support from Mr Kenneth Chan and his team from HK Resorts, FEHD, Marine Dept and EPD.
Shame on SINOPEC who will certainly not be hearing the last of this! More to follow…..