This 'Trash-tag' challenge video of an ocean clean-up is incredible

trending 15/03/2019

We usually associate viral challenges with people doing stupid things, but occasionally they can surprise us - like the most recent 'Trash-tag' challenge. 

The idea is pretty simple: share ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of an area of land that were once filled with litter and trash, and are now cleared up - then encorage others to do the same!

Here's a pretty good example in Russia:

The challenge not only encourages people to do some good in the world and clean up, it will also hopefully discourage littering for those who think it's ok to leave piles of rubbish at beaches etc. 

SCUBA, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to protect coasts, oceans and wildlife, has taken up the challenge, taking it to the ocean. They posted a video this week of a beach they cleaned up during a two and a half-month trip in Vietnam - you can watch the full video above. 

Incredibly, this was only a 10-day job after hundreds of local volunteers and travellers pitched in to help.

"Vình Luong Beach was discovered by accident on December 18 when we were traveling by motorbike across Vietnam on SCUBA’s #picuptrip. We then spent 2.5 days cleaning as much of the beach as possible with 12 local volunteers, help from the government and local schools. In the end we filled up 301 bags = 1,505kg," said SCUBA founder Harrie Kerley.

They had more beaches to clean, so continued up the coast, but weren't happy with their effort, so returned two months later to clean for 7 days straight, with help from local school kids, other organisations and the tools to do the job properly.

"We involved the army, the local and regional government, we spoke in schools to 1,700 children and invited lots of local and international volunteers. We estimate to have had over 300 people join us throughout the week! We hired excavators and bought tools and equipment and in seven days we cleaned the main beach at Vình Luong and turned it into a football pitch for the local children. We also cleaned the main beach in the town harbour and installed a educational painting on the wall that overlooks the village to remind people to protect their ocean."

Throughout their 2.5 month trip from south to north Vietnam, Harrie said they hosted 15 cleans including "beaches, reefs, cities, forests, parks and tourist hot spots", removing over 150,000kg of plastic pollution and mobilising over 600 volunteers along the way.

What an amazing effort, and hopefully it inspires more people to do the same!