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  • A Passion to Protect: Nikon and the Sea First Foundation ‘beach clean up’ to help The Netherlands battle plastic pollution

  • Nikon employees on Ijmuiden beach
    Beach Clean Up: Nikon employees at work on Ijmuiden Beach. (Nikon D850 + NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 S @ f/2.8 | 200mm | 1/600s | ISO 100)


    Eight million metric tons of plastic waste are dumped in our oceans every year. It’s ashore on the beach, floating on the surface and sinking to the seabed to harm marine life all over the world.

    Just last week, Sir David Attenborough told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that “to chuck plastic into the ocean is an insult – we must stop“. Enough is enough and, in recent years, we’ve seen governments, environmental bodies and manufactures work together to try and change the world’s relationship with plastic to reduce the amount that ends up in our oceans. Nikon has joined this effort, and is taking steps to raise awareness.


    Picking up the pieces

    Helping protect the environment remains a key priority for Nikon, which is why, for the second year running, we’ve joined forces with the Sea First Foundation – an organisation committed to the conservation of coasts and marine life – for a ‘beach cleanup’ event held in The Netherlands.

    Fifty-five Nikon employees from our European headquarters made the journey to Ijmuiden beach, near Amsterdam. Here, alongside the Foundation, our volunteers collected over 769 pieces of waste, ranging from a myriad of plastic pieces to cigarette butts and broken glass, bottles and cans. Plastic was the most common material found, collected five times more frequently than any other material.

    what kind of trash in oceans, beach cleanup, environment, plastic pollution, ocean clean
    It was a full day of coordinating efforts to collect a wide range of rubbish including plastic, rope, cigarette butts, soda cans and even old, washed up, plastic barrels! (Nikon D850 + NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 | 200mm | 1/800 sec | ISO 100)


    Employees pick up rubbish, including plastic pieces, cigarette butts, bottles and cans
    Nikon Europe President Tetsuya Morimoto among Nikon employees picking up rubbish. (Nikon D850 + NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 | 86mm | 1/800 s | ISO 100)


    Introducing LITTERATI 

    This year, we did it differently. When Nikon employee volunteers arrived, we were introduced to Litterati: an app that aims to tackle pollution one piece at a time. This is done through Litterati’s growing global community that collects, identifies and geotags everything collected, building a visual map of the world’s litter. Of course, Nikon Europe had to join! Curious to join? The Litterati app is available for apple and android devices.

    global community of environment that identifies, mapps, and collects the world's litter trash, keep the world clean
    Introducing Litterati: the app that builds a global community of environment that identifies, maps, and collects the world’s litter


    Nikon volunteers beach clean up
    Overview of the territory covered by Nikon volunteers beach clean up at Ijmuiden Beach, as displayed via Litterati


    Beach Clean up Nikon 2019
    The result of a day’s work! 769 pieces of trash collected by Nikon volunteers, as displayed via Litterati


    It’s all in the education

    For the Sea First foundation, education and word of mouth are the most powerful tools in driving plastic reduction. For the second year, we were delighted to welcome Dos Winkel, the Founder of Sea First Foundation, to our office to give a lecture on the impact plastic waste is having on our environment.

    During this talk, it was particularly concerning to hear that it takes around 450 years for a single use plastic bottle to break down in the marine environment. The Foundation is running similar workshops at schools across the country, explaining how plastic is adversely affecting the ocean, sea life and the human body.

    Dos Winkel, Founder of Sea First Foundation, delivers a lecture
    Dos Winkel, Founder of Sea First Foundation, delivers a lecture before the beach clean up is to begin.


    plastic pollution, education is key to keeping our environment clean
    Sea First Foundation founder, Dos Winkel explains that on average, humans could be ingesting 5 grams of microplastics a week resulting from plastic pollution in the sea. This equates to one credit card a week, the effects of which is yet unknown: a sobering thought.


    Community collaboration

    Nikon’s involvement in this is part of our ongoing community collaboration and contribution, as we work with local companies to protect the place we call home and ensure our employees are engaged in causes that matter.

    The danger of plastic waste isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, it was frustrating to see it visibly building up again within a week of our cleanup. That’s why we believe it’s so important to promote the small but significant steps individuals and companies can regularly take to help make a difference.

    Following the cleanup, Nikon Europe’s President Tetsuya Morimoto presented the Sea First Foundation €1,000 – a gesture which will hopefully enable the organisation to continue its vital work in conserving the beaches and marine life of The Netherlands.


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    “Nikon’s involvement forms part of our ongoing community collaboration.” – Sea First Foundation founder, Dos Winkel.


    Nikon Europe volunteers, beach cleanup
    Together we can! Nikon Europe’s effort will continue #nikonisgreen (Nikon Z 6 + NIKKOR Z 24 mm f/1.4 @ f/11 | 24mm | 1/160 s | ISO 125)