Around 50 Vietnamese joined hands with Canadian tourist Cameron Beardley in collecting garbage that littered a famous beach in south-central Vietnam on Thursday morning.
Beardley said that he enjoys visiting the Quy Hoa beach in Quy Nhon, the capital of Binh Dinh Province, to swim or read, but he was disappointed when he returned to Vietnam from a three-month trip to the Philippines and saw Quy Hoa’s sand littered with garbage.
Ready to take action, he called up several of his friends in Vietnam and got a small crew together to collect litter from the beach.
But as the hours of cleaning wore on, a shocking realization hit – it was no longer just him and his friends picking up the trash.
About 50 professionals, students, and patients and doctors from the Quy Hoa National Leprosy Dermatology Hospital nearby and people from all walks of life were joining in to make a difference.
|People pick up trash on the Quy Hoa beach in Quy Nhon City, south-central Vietnam, March 21, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|
The hospital’s director, Vu Tuan Anh, said the institution often takes trips to clean up the beach but it is not equipped to handle all garbage left by so many beachgoers.
The hospital will provide bags, gloves and other tools to collect trash if the cleanups become a regular thing, he added.
Though Beardley believes that environmental awareness cannot be taught overnight, he does say that actions should be taken to gradually generate positive cumulative effects for the future.
His efforts are part of a new trend of foreigners and young Vietnamese doing their best to curb the country’s litter problem.
Many people have taken up the “Trash Collection Challenge,” a meme in which a user posts photos taken before and after they pick up trash at the same place to raise public awareness of environmental protection, since it started going viral in Vietnam.