Public Service News

Enoshima Beach Cleaning

Japan is well known for being one of the cleanest countries in the world. Japanese people seem to have a special pride in keeping the areas around their houses and most public places clean and tidy. However there is a big exception - if you visit a beach or mountain side where many people gather, you can often find lots of trash scattered around. This could be due to the lack of garbage bins in many public places or possibly because Japanese people think someone else will clean these places up for them. The result however is often an unsightly mess in some of Japan’s most beautiful places.

On Earth Day 2017 (23rd of April), over 100 people gathered on Enoshima Beach to help clean the beach as part of the Fujisawa Beach Cleaning Project. The Sailing competition for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics is planned to take place near Enoshima Island, and the beach closest to the island was the one being cleaned. This event was organized by the Soleil Provence and Sego Initiative, and it was the 15th time this event was held. Out of the 100 plus volunteers, seven were students representing Saint Maur International School, the sixth year in a row students from Saint Maur had attended the event.

Before we started cleaning, everyone participated in an intense exercise and stretching session as a group, to limber up so no one would injure themselves in the process of bending over and picking up the trash.

The volunteers then split up into their groups and started cleaning. There were many unusual objects that were found on the beach such as tires, brooms and even a branch from an orange tree that still had some oranges on it. After collecting garbage for 40 minutes, the next hour was spent counting the types of debris found on the beach for a survey and all the trash that was found was placed in bags marked burnable or non-burnable.

In the end, 43 bags full of non-burnable trash, and 32 bags of burnables were collected, and altogether this all added up to over 100kg of trash found on the beach. Out of all this trash, Saint Maur collected three bags full of trash. After finishing collecting, counting and bagging, the students from Saint Maur proceeded to help other groups put all their trash in the bags, and to move the bags full of trash to an allocated area.

After all groups had finished the entire process, a group photo was taken, then a delicious lunch was served to all the volunteers by the organisers. Overall, it was a very successful event held on a really nice day (so hot that some had to use sun lotion for the first time this year). The next event will be held this fall on the 24th of September with events such as a Charity Sail and Beach/Island runs, so please come help!


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