YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL | Let’s go plogging!
Dongtan is at the easternmost part of Chongming Island and is near a national nature reserve. Here, people are the first to welcome sunrise; here, we can encounter migratory birds from places that are far away.
Chongming Dongtan Wetland is the only natural resource land of high quality extant in Shanghai. It covers 326 square kilometers, and was included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on February 2nd, 2002. Dongtan is very extensive, possessing a wide range of benthic animals and vegetation resources. It’s the transit station for migratory birds, and the place for aquatic birds to spend the winter. Up to 312 kinds of birds and millions of migratory aquatic birds are recorded in Dongtan. Therefore, wetlands are also called “the cradle of life”, “kidney of the earth”, and “bird paradise.”
On April 20th, a group of young adults came to Dongtan to experience the most fashionable sport in Shanghai — Plogging.
Plogging originated from Sweden. It’s a combination of picking and jogging, as participants pick up litter while jogging. As is known to all, jogging is one of the most convenient kinds of sports. When jogging, the movement of picking litter is similar to squatting, so the muscles of legs and core muscles can get great exercise.
Taking gloves and mesh bags, members of Shanghai Roots & Shoots’ Youth Leadership Council were ready for a big fight. Although the members had previously imagined the scenes they might see, the garbage that came into view after they walk down the dam still shocked them. The lower part of the long dam was connected with wetlands and the tidal flat, and different kinds of garbage were all over this place.
After discussion, the members divided different types of garbage into plastic bottles, styrofoam, domestic waste, and wood. Two members stayed on the dam, and other members categorized garbage according to their types. After picking the garbage, the members pass them to the members on the dam. However, the members of the Youth Leadership Council couldn’t clear all the garbage on the tidal flat in an hour.
The person in charge of Chongming Dongtan Wetland told us that the floating garbage on the sea are mainly plastic bags, floating pieces of wood, buoy and plastic bottles. There are three main sources: the first one is the storm that washes plastic waste buried in land to the ocean; the second is some people in shipping industry who lack the sense of environmental protection pouring plastic waste into the ocean; the third one is maritime accidents—when cargo ships run into storms at sea and the containers on the deck fall into the water, the plastic products in the containers will be wandering in the ocean.
We should always take action by ourselves to reduce the creation of garbage and repel the “white evil” in the ocean.