A huge palm oil spill from mainland China has blighted a number of Hong Kong beaches since last Thursday and grassroots efforts are underway to help clean things up.
More than 1,000 tonnes of oil leaked from a cargo ship that collided with another vessel in the Pearl River estuary last week. On its own, the oil is harmless. However, as it decays it could damage marine life by triggering the growth of algae and spark red tides if temperatures rise. Furthermore, if the oil becomes contaminated by other waste, it could harm any animals that eat it.
Several groups are organising efforts to help remove the oil that’s washing ashore. Lamma Island has been hit especially badly. Eco Marine are organising a clean-up there that aims to meet at 3.30pm at Yung Shue Wan ferry pier (so take the 3pm ferry from Central). From there, volunteers will walk to one of the affected beaches about 20-50 minutes away. For more details, visit their Facebook page.
Other groups are planning to organise similar clean-ups on Lamma – Kat Sha Wan and Tit Sha Long especially lack resources – and we’ll update you once details are confirmed.