Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer's End Sweeper Upper

We're back on the beach!

Where: Ghajn Tuffieha / Riviera (down on the beach)

When: Sun, 26th Sept @ 11:00am

  • 11:00 - 13:00 > Beach Clean Up (gloves and bags will be provided)
  • 13:00 - 14:00 > Sea Clean up (bring snorkels and nets if you can!)
  • Optional Yoga lesson by our very own Michelle Bartolo.
  • DJ Digits will be spinning tunes throughout!

Facebook event: Click here.

We hope to see you there! :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back to Buskett

We'd left Buskett a cleaner place back in May but there was still a lot of work to be done. Our friends from GreenHouse Malta were up for the challenge and took charge of the next assault on the rubbish in the woods, and together we accomplished what we originally thought would be impossible, all within a few hours.

GreenHouse also brought entertainment and some of the best vegan food I've ever tasted to the woods that evening. A multi cultural jamming and chow down fest ensued, with everyone thoroughly enjoying the peaceful night atmosphere.

Huge thanks to Joseph, Monique and Malcolm for all their hard work with the organising and to every volunteer who helped us give this section of Buskett a well needed make over. We look forward to working with you guys again!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back to Buskett!

It's time to head back to the wonderful woods of Buskett to continue what we started. This time, however, we're going along with our friends from GreenHouse Malta who have organised the entire evening's activities.

Where: Buskett - meeting under the canopy/carpark
When: Fri, 23rd @ 17:00
17:00 - 19:00 > Clean up
19:30 - late > Live music, jamming, fair trade food & drinks against a donation
Facebook event: Please click here.

Please confirm your attendance by sending an email to:!

* Gloves & bags to be provided
* Transport / carpooling available after (please inform us in your email if you'll need the ride back)

Looking forward to seeing you there! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

International Surf Day & clean up

Photo by Holly Mitchell

To celebrate Malta's first International Surf Day this Sunday, 20th June, we hit Ghajn Tuffieha with bags, gloves, surf boards galore and a sweet sound system thanks to our very own DJ Digits.

Photos by Joe Muscat

With help from people of all ages and walks of life, we set to work on the sand and surrounding cliffs. After some hard work in the sun we kicked back and relaxed to Ash's tunes - some with cold drinks, some swimming and some getting their first taste of surfing thanks to the pros from Surf Malta.

Photo by Joe Muscat

Photo by Holly Mitchell

Big thanks to everyone for making it a memorable day!

Photo by Holly Mitchell

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Earth Garden 2010

This year's Earth Garden was a great opportunity to expose our cause to the public and thanks to our volunteers we did just that. Our brand new shirts sold like hot cakes and it was a wonderful feeling spotting strangers walking around with our logo on their chests.

Big thanks to Intervisions for our great new banner which they kindly donated, our main sponsors NEXT for doing our shirts, Jody from Defined Branding for the fantastic artwork, for the support and exposure and everyone who helped make the event happen, donated or pledged to come to our next clean up. See you at Ghajn Tuffieha on the 20th of June! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

International Surf Day clean up!

International Surfing Day, held annually on or near the date of the summer solstice (usually June 20th) is an unofficial, environmentally conscious sports centered holiday that celebrates the sport of surfing, the surfing lifestyle and the sustainability of ocean resources.

This year Surf Malta (MSA) & That's Rubbish Malta are organising this event for the first time in Malta where we will be promoting our Plastic Kills campaign.

The day will start off with a beach clean up with voluteers and the general public, followed by surf lessons and games on the beach, a live band, DJ and activities all round.

Where: Ghajn Tuffieha

When: 10:00 - 20:00

Facebook event: Click here.

Looking forward to a great day at the beach!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

23rd May clean up

A hard working quintet were the force behind our first clean up away from the beach, and boy did Buskett need a helping hand! Being the largest woodland area on the island and a hot spot for picnickers, it quickly became clear that we had undertaken a mammoth task.. one which would need many more volunteers and many more visits to cover.

We mainly focused on the deepest parts of the wood which had been left neglected for a very, very long time, evident from glass bottles that aren't even in production any more and non-biodegradable plastic bags that had actually started falling to pieces.

15 bags and several hours later we hauled the rubbish back to the starting line happy with what we had achieved. Due to the sheer size and man power needed to help restore this beautiful place back to its natural state, we'll be heading back again soon with our friends from GreenHouse Malta for another clean up, so stay tuned for the date!

Many thanks to new comers Mike & Pennie! Catch you at the next one.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Next clean up!

This month we're venturing into the woodlands - Buskett. We aim to clear up this picnickers paradise to restore it to its natural beauty and then become the picnickers ourselves for a fun filled afternoon bursting with yummy snacks!

Where: Buskett (meeting at the car park under the large canopy).

When: 11:00

Facebook event:

*Gloves and rubbish bags will be provided*

Don't forget to bring along some munchies! :) See you all there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We're on the Times of Malta & the new logo revealed.

Great coverage of the group over the past few weeks - we've even made it into the newspapers this Sunday. Many thanks for the support!

Check out the article here (photo by Chris Cachia Zammit).

Another big thanks goes out to our very own artist Steffe Warrington for our official new logo and Emil Brikha for the photoshop help.

Stay tuned for the next clean up date!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We're on TheCodeTV!

Michelle Bartolo speaks to about our work.

Check out the video here.

A big thanks once again to Brian Azzopardi & co. for helping us share our story!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

25th April clean up

Our merge with the Malta Surfing Association (Surf Malta) brought a much welcomed addition of several surfers to the clean up, who kindly gave up some of their time before hitting the waves. We were all very pleasantly surprised at the amount of rubbish we found on the beach this time round - mainly due to what appears to be local council cleaning during the summer months.

A big thanks goes out to Ann Zammit from the Sunday Times for coming down to support the group and to Brian Azzopardi from CODE.TV for taking some footage of the clean up.

The long awaited installation of several waste and recycling bins was a welcomed site and will hopefully encourage more beach goers to bin their rubbish in future, instead of littering the sand and sea.

Thanks as always goes out to all the new faces, surfers and regular volunteers for another job well done. Catch you at the next one!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Next clean up!

oin us on our first summer clean up of 2010 as we fight to keep our seas and shorelines plastic free!

Ghajn Tuffieha (meet down on the beach)

14:00 - 17:00

We hope to see you there! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

21st March clean up

We couldn't have asked for a nicer day to take part in the 'Oceans Initiative' project by the Surfrider Foundation. We were one of 809 clean ups that took place all over Europe during a 4 day period, making sure Malta gave its contribution to a great cause.

A pleasant surprise awaited us at the beach - the usual mountain of plastic we witness over the winter months was nowhere to be seen! This meant we could focus our attention on the little bits this time round, thoroughly digging into the rocks and pebbles to get at those nasty bottle caps and other marine life-threatening bits and pieces.

Photo by Chris Cachia Zammit

We also took the opportunity to collect signatures for the Surfrider's 'Rise Above Plastics' campaign, bringing attention to the volumes of plastic waste dumped in our seas and oceans. Our young eco-hero Miguel charmed his way across the beach enthusiastically sharing our initiative with the all sunbathers who were quick to add their names to the list.

A nice relaxing evening followed where most of the gang chilled by the water soaking up the last of the warm spring sun. A huge thank you goes out to all who participated - we hope to see you guys again at the next clean up!

Photo by Chris Cachia Zammit

Check out how the other clean ups around Europe went here:

Monday, March 1, 2010

World wide clean up!

Exciting stuff! 'That's Rubbish' has officially confirmed its participation in a world wide 4 day clean up event through the Surfrider Foundation! To date 771 individual clean ups are set to take place around the world between the 18th and 21st of March, most of which have been organised in Europe. France lead the Green-Cavalry with an astounding percentage of the voluntary events, followed by Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland.

We are proud to ensure Malta has its own little flag on the Surfrider map and will be heading down to Ghajn Tuffieha to do our bit on the first day of Spring - Sunday, 21st March!

Check out the official link below:

Where: Ghajn Tuffieha (meet down on the beach)
When: 14:00 - 17:00
After: If the weather permits we can have a sunset Yoga session for anyone who'd like to unwind and then head off to play some pool!

If anyone is willing and able to publicise this event for us by posting this info at their school, office or local shops that would be a great help... camera people of all sorts are welcome to come give us a shoot too!

*Rubbish bags and gloves will be provided*

Hope to see you there! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

21st Feb clean up

A beautiful sunny day with a cool sea breeze was just what we'd hoped for. We'd like to take this opporunity to thank the lovely Audri and Jessica who drove up just in time to shower us with Red Bull to energise our clean up, and then down the steps we went!

In addition to the usual rubbish collecting, this time round we also attempted a simple sieving system to try and get rid of the smaller pieces of plastic that littered the sand.

Locate lots of plastic... check.

Sieve out the large pieces.

Onto the smaller bits...

Voila! What sand should really look like.

It was a successful attempt but a very time consuming one, so many more nets and many more hands would be needed next time round to make a real visible difference over the entire beach!

Two hours later the hard working team had collected a record volume of rubbish and stacked it proudly at the base of the steps for our custom group photo.

Another job well done and off to the bowling alley for a good time amongst awesome people... (photos of gutter balls too embarrassing for this blog). Thanks to all for joining!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

''Only we humans make waste that nature can't digest.''

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Pacific 'garbage soup' as it is commonly referred to, stretches from China to California, covering an area larger than the continental United States, 80% of which is made up of tiny, non biodegradable shards of plastic.

Since Petroleum based plastics are non biodegradable, any entering the oceans remain there, breaking into smaller and smaller pieces until they are ingested or deposited on some distant shore.

The catastrophic effect this amount of human waste is having on the environment is the most evident with marine and bird life who constantly mistake this rubbish for food. Sea bird carcasses have been found with alarming volumes of plastic in their bellies, ranging from bottle caps to lighters to fragments of styrofoam.

The dead body of a fledgling Laysan albatross with more than half a pound of plastic in its stomach.

Contents of another bird's stomach, over half of which is human waste.

Plastic bags, often mistaken for jelly fish, have led to the suffocation of thousands of turtles. Items such as plastic rings and six-pack holders have also resulted in some excruciating and shocking deformations.

With such effects being evident on wildlife, many concerns have naturally risen about how our own food chain is being effected. With this in mind, studies on hundreds of samples of the most common fish in the ocean (some at the bottom of the food chain) showed that over one third had polluted plastic fragments in their stomachs. The record holder - one small specimen only 2.5 inches long, had 84 pieces in its tiny stomach. The leading authority on the subject, Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation who first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has gone as far as stating: ''You can buy certified organic produce, but no fish monger on earth can sell you a certified organic wild caught fish.''

One may of course take this opportunity to point out that these issues are simply not relevant on our island, being so far from the Pacific Ocean and protected by such a narrow opening at the Gibraltar Strait. Unfortunately, however, as a regular volunteer of the group 'That's Rubbish', evidence on our very own beaches have revealed a worrying similarity to the problems occurring half way around the world. The strong currents around the beautiful beach of Ghajn Tuffieha, especially during the winter months, have dragged in vast amounts of discarded items including fishing nets, rope, bottles, large plastic containers, and the most common items - hundreds upon hundreds of bottle caps and thousands of small fragments of plastic. These tiny particles appear to be identical to those discovered in the Pacific 'garbage soup', in their birds and in their fish. As it can take years for containers to break down to these minute sizes, one can only imagine how long these items have been floating around the sea, and how many of them have ended up in the stomachs of the fish we may have consumed.

Ghajn Tuffieha, 27th December 2009.

So what is the solution to this great ocean threat?

Captain Moore has stated that realistically, completely eliminating the plastic content of the ocean is now beyond the budget of any country and the damage it has created until now is quite possibly irreversible. Our responsibility now lies in preventing even further damage by stopping the plastic at its source - stopping it on land before it finds its way into the sea.

So, what can you do?

  • Reduce the amount of plastic you use.

~ Give up plastic sandwich bags and use long lasting tupperware instead.

~ Stop buying bottled water (some households can get through over 1000 2L bottles a year). Consider installing a small reverse osmosis system to purify tap water which can pay for itself within 12 months.

~ Instead of buying a drink for lunch every day, bring one with you from home and re-use the bottle.

  • Bin it.

~ It takes half a second to slip whatever you're done with in your pocket until you find a bin to dispose of it safely.

  • Recycle.

~ With local councils picking up recyclables from our very doorsteps on a weekly basis, we have no excuses to not recycle.

  • Educate.

~ Forward this article to family and friends.

~ Lead by example and influence the people around you into picking up more responsible habits.

  • Act.

~ Join us on one of our beach clean ups. See a fraction of what is out there littered on our shores and help us keep that mound of rubbish from polluting and killing the sea's beautiful creatures.

~ Know of an area by the coast that's in a bad state? Get in touch with us at and we'll try to help you organise a clean up there.

Paul Watson, one of the greatest wildlife conservationists of our time, once said ''If the oceans die, we die.''

I believe him.

Do you?

Dave Gladwish