Beach litter distresses student

By Mikaela Collins

1 comment
Jasmine Nossiter found plastic, food packaging and even a burnt toilet seat while cleaning up Urquharts Bay with mum Anita Hollis. Photo / John Stone
Jasmine Nossiter found plastic, food packaging and even a burnt toilet seat while cleaning up Urquharts Bay with mum Anita Hollis. Photo / John Stone

Jasmine Nossiter is only 9, but after filling several bags with rubbish while cleaning up a Northland beach she's angry and wants others to tidy up after themselves.

As part of a school project the Parua Bay School student was asked to choose a topic, make predictions about it and see if those predictions were right. Jasmine chose littering.

The project was supposed to take place at school but when Jasmine, who has had frequent bouts of pneumonia in the past, woke up sick her mother Anita Hollis kept her home. But Jasmine said she still wanted to complete the project so Urquharts Bay became the location to complete the assignment.

Some of the piles of rubbish Jasmine found at Urquharts Bay. Photo / Anita Hollis
Some of the piles of rubbish Jasmine found at Urquharts Bay. Photo / Anita Hollis

"I want to protect the Earth so no animals die," Jasmine said.

She made a list of 10 things she might find at the beach; tape, balloons, rope, plastic bags, bait and burley bags, plastic, bottles, bottle tops, tackle and nylon were all on the list.

"I was looking at her list and going 'no you won't find that there,' but we did," said Ms Hollis.

Jasmine, a keen fisher, said she made her list based on things she had found at the beach before like bottle tops and burley bags.

After spending two hours walking along the beach with Ms Hollis the pair filled four or five plastic shopping bags with bottle tops, lip gloss, glasses, polystyrene, glow sticks, nappy wipes, rope, tackle and packaging, lures, several bait and burley bags, onion bags, food packaging, balloons, latex and cotton gloves, alcohol cans and boxes, plastic bottles, meat trays, bubble wrap and the strangest find of all - a burnt toilet seat.

They also found six dead pufferfish, one dead penguin and a bird which was struggling to walk because it had a piece of tackle wrapped around a leg.

"I feel sad because it shouldn't all be there," said Jasmine who said she was worried about fish and birds dying in the sea because of all the rubbish.

The message is pretty clear but after a clean-up of Urquharts Bay , 9-year-old Jasmine  isn't sure people are listening. Photo / Anita Hollis
The message is pretty clear but after a clean-up of Urquharts Bay , 9-year-old Jasmine isn't sure people are listening. Photo / Anita Hollis

Ms Hollis said Jasmine was angry at how much rubbish she had found and has written to the Whangarei District Council about the mess.

"When writing to the council she was really angry and I was telling her to try to make it positive but she was saying 'it makes me so mad',"

In the letter Jasmine has asked the council 10 questions including "why are there no rubbish bins?" and "how can we tell people that littering is destroying our planet?".

Jasmine's plan to be clean and green doesn't stop there. She also wants to clean beaches in the area every Saturday and every Monday after school and would like to organise a beach clean-up. Her message to the people dumping rubbish is pretty simple: "Just stop littering".

Grant Alsop, waste and drainage field officer for WDC is away from work but had received the letter and was impressed with the work Jasmine and Ms Hollis had done. He promised to get in touch when he returned to work.

- Northern Advocate

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