Published 28 February 2016 ● Last Updated on 1 October 2020

It was not just another Saturday morning.

I got up before the kids, left home without a shower, and traveled to a beachspot in a remote part of Singapore that I wasn’t expecting to gush over. I know – doesn’t sound like a promising start to the weekend – and yet, I can tell you it was one the most satisfying mornings I have had in a long, long time! The reason is … trash.

That’s right – trash. Almost a tonne of it [982.5 kgs, to be precise] – was collected by me and my fellow early-waker-uppers in 2 hours across less than 500m of coastline.

I’ve put together this photo feature to give you a glimpse of what our beaches and seafronts suffer, and in the hope you will join the cleanup effort on the beaches and in your lifestyles!

This particular beach cleanup drive was held at Lim Chu Kang yesterday Feb 27, at a spot overlooking Johor a stone’s throw away. The waterfront was a Mangrove beach, sadly infested with sea waste such as plastic, fishing nets and Styrofoam. I had seen International Coastal Cleanup Singapore‘s call for volunteers, and that’s how I ended up here.

Beach cleanup at Lim Chu Kang mangroves site.
Entering the mangrove area. I reckon the “crocodiles keep away” to avoid all those washed fishing nets and plastic bags!

Beach cleanup
Welcomed by waste. The beautiful landscape so uglified by contrasting garbage – goes on to prove fish really have tiny brains if they can confuse the trashy packaging for beautiful natural life!

Beach cleanup
The bad news is clear to see. This was how the whole tideline looked like! The good news – no volunteer could complain of unemployment!

Beach cleanup - too much styrofoam
Honestly, I didn’t believe we would be able to comb the area clean in two hours. So many small pieces of trash of all kinds – from tyres to drums to construction material.

Beach cleanup - too much styrofoam
Before the clean-up, I hated plastic already. By the time I left, I hated styrofoam as much! It disintegrates into a million pieces and just impossible to get rid off.

Beach cleanup
Seen here, a volunteer soldiers through with the tongs.


Beach cleanup - office chair discarded on the beach

Work in progress – stacking up all the rubbish we collected

Beach cleanup - tyre washed ashore
existential questions – why are we here??!!

Beach cleanup
All in a half a day’s work

Beach cleanup
A human chain to pass forward the collection of the day


Beach cleanup
Those cans are heavier than they look! We couldn’t empty contents of closed canisters – no idea what poisons they may contain!

Beach cleanup - lim chu kang mangroves
Finally, something to show (or rather, not show!) for our efforts!

Beach cleanup
More trash than we bargained for – nearly a 1000 kgs!

Beach cleanup
Say bye to my grubby hands! I was here!

Beach cleanup
A human chain to pass forward the collection of the day
beach cleanup
The end is just the beginning


Follow/like the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore’s FB page to keep updated on future clean-ups. Follow / like Secondsguru’s FB Page to get a live feed of green events in Singapore. Or subscribe to our newsletter if you would like to join in with us when we go for the  next clean up, so that we keep you in the loop on our plans.

To see this photo album in better resolution, see the album here.





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