KAHUKU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kahuku shoreline, especially the area of the bay near the James Campbell Wildlife Refuge, is looking less and less like paradise and more like a plastic dumping ground.
It's not the result of littering, but rather marine debris or plastic pollution that has washed ashore.
Kahi Pacarro, of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, said Kahuku cleanups often require 200 to 400 volunteers. During their last effort in this area, they cleared nearly 10,000 pounds of trash.
Organizations like Plastic Free Hawaii and Sustainable Coastlines have made it their mission to educate people about the harmful impact of plastic, and encourage people to rid their lives of styrofoam and other non-biodegradable items.
The no. 1 source of marine debris is single-use plastic
Such plastic poses a serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine mammals and reptiles, as well as to boats and coastal communities. Fish ingest the plastic and toxins are absorbed into their fatty tissue, which humans then ingest when eating fish.
The non-profits regularly host beach cleanups across the island and state.
Doorae Shin, of Plastic Free Hawaii, said consistency is key and without it the plastic pollution could begin to pile up so much that it may become too overwhelming to take care of.
The next major cleanup is scheduled for Monday.
Volunteers are invited to show up from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Coastline access will be provided by the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge gate at mile marker 14 off Kamehameha Highway.