Tackling Marine Plastic on World Oceans Day

On Saturday 15 June, Tengah Island Conservation (TIC) organised a community clean-up of Rapang Beach on Pulau Besar in collaboration with Majlis Daerah Mersing and Trash Hero Mersing to commemorate World Oceans Day. The beach clean-up was held to raise awareness of the issues of marine debris and to protect fragile marine ecosystem from pollution.

 Over 90 volunteers of all ages from from locally-based government agencies, businesses, societies and the local community came together for a common goal – to rid the beach of marine debris. 

The beach was littered with trash

The beach was littered with trash

Dragging ghost gear from the sea

Dragging ghost gear from the sea

Ghost gear up close. Just a small portion of what was removed from the sea that day.

Ghost gear up close. Just a small portion of what was removed from the sea that day.

 The most common items found, and the most challenging to remove, were lost and abandoned fishing nets and ropes, otherwise known as “ghost gear”. Ghost gear is widely recognised as the most deadly form of marine plastic (World Animal Protection). Other items included over 1,300 shoes and slippers and almost 4,500 plastic bottles!

Will it ever end?

Will it ever end?

Almost there now..

Almost there now..



Working together under the scorching sun for four hours, almost two tonnes of trash was collected, separated, sorted and weighed before being loaded onto a cargo boat. The trash was then brought back onto the mainland for recycling at Clean and Happy Recycling, Mersing for disposal.

Whilst it was extremely sad to see the amount of trash on the beach, the atmosphere and camaraderie amongst the team was incredible to see. The event was a testament to what a group of committed stakeholders can achieve when working together.

Big thanks go to all the volunteers and generous sponsors who contributed food and water, transport and more to ensure the smooth running of the event.


Debris collected : 1,938.5 Kg

916.5 kg

Ghost Gear

414 kg

other plastic


shoes and flip flops


plastic bottles



Location: Rapang Beach, Pulau Besar

Distance from mainland: 16 km

Number of participants: 92

Organisers :

Tengah Island Conservation

Majlis Daerah Mersing

Trash Hero Mersing

With support from :

Batu Batu Resort

Besar Bagus Place

Clean and Happy Recycling Mersing

D’Coconut Resort,

Dive Asia,

Eng Teck Hardware

Let’s Go Island

Mersing Riders Cycling Team

Mirage Resort

Pejabat Tanah Mersing

Pejabat Taman Negara Johor

Trash Hero Mersing

Victory Trading