An exorbitant number of plastic bottles, lighters, plastic bags as well as fishing gears were uncovered during a beach clean-up lead by Heirs to Our Oceans on Sunday.

Miel Holm, one of the heirs said in an interview that brand audit of the litter collected from the clean up revealed that a few of them were sold in Palau, with most of the trash but could have ended on the island-nations ocean from neighboring Asian countries thousands of miles away.

On Sunday Heirs to Our Ocean and volunteers from Palau went to Ngereblobang Beach for a clean –up.

Holm is amazed at how much trash they have seen on the beach that a thorough clean up would have taken them the whole day to complete.

“We really just cleaned-up as much as we can do,” she said.

An audit of the items of the debris that end up on the beach were plastic bottles, beverage bottle, lighters, shoes, plastic shopping bags, styrofoam containers, aluminum cans and food wrappers.

The volunteers have also uncovered that a big percentage of the trash comprises of fishing gears such as massive pile of plastic ropes, buoy foam, buoy plastic, plastic nets from purse seiners and long liners.

Holm said the beach clean up and the Plastic-Free Forum will help raise public awareness to the problem of plastic pollution.

She hopes that the forum and what the volunteers have seen during the cleanup will make people aware of the scale of the problem and why there is a need to ban importation of plastic.

Palau, known as one of the environmentally conscious countries in the world should also take lead the charge in tackling plastic pollution.

“We all have this marine sanctuary, marine protected areas, but we use so much plastic on the island, so that is an issue we have to address, so we can walk the talk of being environmentally-conscious,” Holm stated.

Heirs of Our Ocean together with, Oceanic Society, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Drifter’s Project conducted an expedition to “face and understand the challenges of plastic pollution.”

From the forum, the team hopes to encourage new action plan against the plastic pollution crisis.  (Bernadette Carreon)