Ad Campaign Seeks to Reduce Ocean Litter - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ad Campaign Seeks to Reduce Ocean Litter

Lauren Ostaszewski Lauren Ostaszewski
Noel Jago Noel Jago
Jisun Lee Jisun Lee
Andy Collins Andy Collins
Disney's Little Mermaid is part of the ad campaign Disney's Little Mermaid is part of the ad campaign

By Leland Kim

(KHNL) - Waikiki is world famous for its sandy beaches and a picture-perfect view. But that view is getting a bit muggy. Each year more than six million tons of trash get in our oceans.

"I think it's really unfortunate because it's such a beautiful place and it's sad that something so beautiful can be easily affected like that," said Lauren Ostaszewski, a tourist from New Jersey. "I think there should be more rules about pollution."

"It's awful because the beaches here are sensational and the water's sensational," said Noel Jago, a tourist from Australia. "It's a shame to see it polluted in any way whatsoever."

And beachgoers here say they see people pollute the ocean right in front of their eyes.

"There are two people out on floats smoking cigarettes, but I mean, you're on your float," said Jisun Lee, a tourist from New Jersey. "Where are you going to put it out? We have our empty cigarette box where we put our cigarette butts. But I saw them just throw it in the ocean."

Some of the most harmful pollutants are cigarette butts. Environmentalists say one of the best ways to reduce pollution is to simply take your trash and throw it away in a trash can.

But not enough people are doing that because the problem is getting worse.

We continue to collect more and more debris," said Andy Collins, Education Specialist with the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. "Since 1997 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, we've collected 560 tons of debris."

Because of this growing crisis, the Ad Council launched a new public service announcement teaching people how to keep our oceans clean. It's a collaborative effort among leading environmental groups and Disney.

Not only does trash pollute our oceans, it can be deadly.

"Monk seals particular in Northwestern Oahu get tangled up in marine debris and drown," said Collins. "So do sea turtles and sharks and other large fish."

Beachgoers urge people to use some common sense.

"This is somewhere where you come to be happy and other people come here to be happy and relax and no one wants to see your garbage," said Lee.

"Just not be so careless and keep this island the way it should be," said Ostaszewski,

If more people don't heed this advice, Hawaii is at risk of losing its reputation for clean, beautiful beaches.

Environmentalists say the number one piece of garbage they find in the ocean throughout the world are cigarette butts. So the advice, once again, is throw those butts away in a trash can and help keep the ocean clean.

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