Nearly 9,000 pieces of rubbish, flotsam and jetsam – and counting. In just its first two beach clean-ups with Sustainable Coastlines, the staff of James & Wells Intellectual Property have helped collect an incredible amount of waste.
The clean-ups, at stunning Ruapuke, near Raglan, and at Milford Creek on Auckland’s North Shore, are the result of James & Wells Intellectual Property’s recent Silver sponsorship of Sustainable Coastlines.
Data collected from the haul revealed 156kg of rubbish – a huge amount considering most of it was light plastic, and an indictment on Kiwis’ disregard for the environment, says James & Wells Intellectual Property partner Simon Rowell, who took part in the clean-ups at Ruapuke and Milford.
“Sustainable Coastlines is making a real difference. New Zealand has been blessed with a superb coastline, which as a country we like to think is still pristine. But the Ruapuke clean-up in particular showed me that is a fallacy in many respects.“Once we took a closer look, the volume of rubbish was amazing. We are proud to have come on board as Silver sponsors, and proud to be improving the environment for all Kiwis.”
In many ways, the clean-ups’ audit list makes bizarre reading: the Ruapuke waste included 16 cigarette lighters, 36 pieces of shotgun shell casing or wadding, 28 pens, 12 pieces of clothing, a tyre, and 52 pieces of polystyrene or foam; at Milford Creek, there were two diapers, more than 1,000 food containers or wrappers, 10 car parts, 33 parking tickets and one hockey stick.
But Sam Judd, Co-Founder and Events Director of Sustainable Coastlines, says the results from these two clean-ups are by no means abnormal.
“The results from these events highlight what is an immense ecological challenge faced by communities. Our key focus is educational work, and this detailed data will contribute towards educational resources that will stop so much rubbish entering the marine environment.”
“We are delighted to partner with James & Wells, who have already shown great commitment in looking after the coastline in challenging conditions. Their teamwork and passion for the cause has already been an inspiration.”
James & Wells Intellectual Property recently held an auction of goods and services donated by clients which raised nearly $3,000 for Sustainable Coastlines. Sam Judd says these funds will go towards delivering educational presentations and practical clean-up activities to thousands of school students in Auckland this year.
Simon Rowell also recently announced a unique separate initiative, in which James & Wells Intellectual Property will donate to Sustainable Coastlines 5 per cent of any professional fees billed to members of the Sustainable Business Network, Sustainable Business Council, or organisations with CEMARS certification.
Sam Judd says: “This clever initiative shows how innovative James and Wells is, and also its commitment towards sustainability. We encourage any business out there which shares similar values to get in touch with them. It will go a long way towards protecting your IP, and teaching communities to look after the beaches that we all love. ”
About 60 employees work at the firm’s offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch, and they have embraced the idea of joining in Sustainable Coastlines clean-ups.
James & Wells is planning a large clean-up as part of its all-staff annual general meeting in August, providing the opportunity for their nationwide team to ditch their suits for a day and get stuck into protecting a treasured piece of coastline in Auckland.
The firm plans to participate in three more clean-ups next summer.“This is a long-term commitment which fits well with our new Jaws-themed logo and slogan, ‘getting our teeth into sustainability’,” says Simon Rowell.