AirAsia, together with Project AWARE and Viking Scuba Tenggol, recently conducted reef and beach clean-up in Terengganu in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup Day on 21 September 2019.
As part of AirAsia’s #AllstarsDoGood regional initiative, 40 Allstars (AirAsia staff) joined hands to reduce marine debris and create greater awareness of the need to protect our oceans.
The Allstars, all certified scuba divers from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, collected 40 kilogrammes worth of ghost nets from a dive site in Tenggol Island and 151 kilogrammes of rubbish from the Pantai Sura beachfront in Kuala Dungun.
During the clean-up operation, PADI master scuba diver trainer Nadeera Helmi shared the concept behind responsible diving.
“In terms of scuba diving, most damage to marine life is caused by divers with poor buoyancy and disrespect for the underwater world like touching corals, chasing and even riding wildlife,” she said.
“That’s why we set high standards for our student divers.”
Nadeera said all trainers play a big role in ensuring students can enjoy a safe dive without endangering marine life.
“We guide divers in small groups so we can monitor and manage most situations,” she said.
“We try to reduce our plastic waste by using reusable plates, containers and cutlery, among others. We would bring everything we need from the mainland and bring our waste back with us (mainly food scraps).”
#AllstarsDoGood is an initiative started by the company’s People and Culture department to encourage staff to volunteer for a good cause. To date, 4,160 volunteer hours have been recorded from various programmes across Asean.
AirAsia Group Head of Culture Attila Emam said: “This is our third coastal clean-up project under the #AllstarsDoGood initiative after Pattaya and Batangas. As a company that brings so many people to beautiful islands and beaches across the region, we want to make sure we do our part in educating people on the importance of taking care of these destinations.”
“We are happy to report that the three dive sites we visited at Tenggol Island had minimal marine debris. About 95% of what we collected on Pantai Sura were single-use plastics, mainly of food packaging. The beachfront is a popular hangout place and most of the rubbish was found in between rocks. Imagine 151 kilogrammes of rubbish collected in an hour, and the problem can be solved by just putting the trash in the right place. We’ve submitted the beach clean-up data to the Ocean Conservancy platform, while the reef clean-up data has been reported on Project AWARE’s website,” he added.