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'Acting for change’

19 July 2022

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A piece of trash a day could change the world

Thursday 3 March 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Environment, National

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A piece of trash a day could change the world
Sabine Janneck picks up litter at the main road of the Western Marina at Avatiu harbour, accompanied by her loyal companion Bailey. 22022806

In half of an hour, 410 pieces of carelessly discarded trash was collected along the main road and sea side area at Avatiu’s western harbour.

Sabine Janneck, a pro-active executive member of Te Ipukarea Society and eco-environmentalist, was disappointed to see the amount of trash she had gathered in such a short period of time.

Thirty disposable masks, beer bottle caps, aluminium cans, plastic bottle tops, plastic wrappers, and cigarette butts were among litter people have left or thrown behind.

After shopping at the CITC Supermarket earlier this week, Janneck and her dog Bailey took a walk around the harbour area. “It was dreary, so I thought I need to do something, everyone needs to do something, and if it’s just one little piece of rubbish that someone picks up that’s good,” she said.

“These disposable masks are everywhere … people really need to take more care.”

Janneck says if people have things that needs to be disposed when they are out in public, “just take it home please, it’s so easy to do”.

“And when you see something, do something, please pick something up even if it’s just one piece… we have 10,000 people and if we all pick up a piece each then we won’t have a litter problem.”

Why does she do it? “Why not?” she replied, “I have an hour of time so why not do something for the world.”

Janneck explained that worldwide the disposal of plastic has always been a problem, and when plastic breaks down to micro plastic (which is also found on the beach alongside other little bits of trash) it gets into the food chain because of the birds or fish that eat it.

“It’s a big circle… and that’s why we eat plastic too, it ends up in our food.”

She would like people to be more proactive and to do their bit for the environment.

“Don’t think that anyone else will change the world, nobody does, but you can, you can change the world.”

Janneck’s brand C.I.R.C.L.E.  – Cook Islands Recycling Creations Living Environment – is an artistic handcrafted creation defined by giving a second life to discarded materials. Her recycled creations earned the 2021 Energy Global Award Sustainability Award.