Students clean Kailua Beach by sifting microplastics

Kailua Beach

Students from St. Anthony and St. John Vianney schools in Windward Oahu hit Kailua Beach Tuesday morning for a school-wide cleanup.

The keiki used shovels and bucks to filter sand and pull out microplastics. They were joined by volunteers from Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks, and Whole Foods Market.

Environmental support groups say microplastics are a small danger that’s growing into a big problem.

“It’s a huge problem and it’s a non-stop onslaught of microplastic which is broken down,” said Kahi Pacarro, director, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. “Larger pieces of plastic that is broken down smaller and smaller pieces that never go away and they end up being mistaken for food.”

“It’s cool knowing that I’m helping the environment,” said student Daphne Miller. “It’s kind of sad that there are a lot of microplastics.”

More than 25 pounds of plastic were picked up during Tuesday’s cleanup.

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