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Written by Shahirah Anuar
On October 15, 2022, HSBC Malaysia and EcoKnights organised a beach cleanup with 100 volunteers at Pantai Bagan Lalang. In keeping with HSBC’s commitment to sustainability, this initiative aims to raise employee awareness on the importance of keeping our local beaches clean and safe for all to enjoy. The fact that it is located on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is a popular tourist destination for both tourists and locals has increased the need to keep the coastal area clean. Cleaning up beach debris and trash is critical to reduce direct debris input into the ocean, which would have a major impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity. This beach clean-up aims to educate participants by exposing them to the waste problem in the real world.
Different types of activities were conducted to instill environmental actions and appreciation including beach clean-up, segregation of rubbish, waste audit and talks. This cleanup began with a briefing on ways of segregating different types of trash — where the employees were required to segregate into different categories while collecting the trash — before it was disposed into the waste bin. The focus areas extended all the way to the public common area, including the food court and playground space, which are the most common locations for trash to be found.
In the cleanup session, the employees were divided into four groups. The session began at 9.20 a.m. and ended at 10 a.m. — all thanks to the weather — which piqued their enthusiasm for a fully energised participation in this activity. During this activity, the trash collected was divided into two categories which were recyclables and non-recyclables. Sorting and segregating the trash collected during the cleanup represents an additional step taken to ensure the inclusion of a more sustainable process along the waste management line – sorting and cleaning waste types aids in recycling and proper onward disposal. At the end of the day, the employees successfully collected nearly 170 kg of trash in only 40 minutes!
Ms Nabila Shohimi, EcoKnights’ Sustainability Project Manager, delivered a short sharing session on zero waste knowledge while the employees enjoyed their zero waste picnic to cap off this meaningful day of volunteering. She emphasised the importance of taking environmental action, beginning with our resources, which require us to be more thoughtful and creative throughout the process of changing our lifestyles for the better. Employees were encouraged to practise mindfulness in all of their daily tasks without perceiving the efforts of others to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Hence, this zero-waste picnic itself could inspire participants to learn about alternatives to single-use plastics by providing meals in reusable containers and cutlery — which they could take home and reuse in the future!
One of the key strategies for EcoKnights in driving sustainability is to constantly collaborate with partners who believe in our cause and want to play an active role in environmental action. Based on what we’ve learned from this extensive engagement and education, it’s critical for partners to contribute creatively and commit to mobilising positive impact change. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@EcoKnights) if you want to help the environment or learn about more empowering projects.
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