Banks girls soccer player brings team to clean microplastics from Oregon beach

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 3:48 PM PDT
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MANZANITA, Ore. (KPTV) - A Banks junior high school soccer player is drawing attention to the amount of plastic on Oregon’s beaches by organizing a team cleanup.

The cleanup happened on a beautiful day on Manzanita Beach. But what Violet Allori and her teammates found is not so beautiful.

“That plastic right there is enough to kill a bird,” Allori said. “It’s really horrible.”

Allori said this is a big problem for the wildlife that call the ocean and beach home.

“We could be saving 100 seabirds, which can alter the ecosystem,” she said.

Allori partnered with Sea Turtles Forever executive director Marc Ward. His organization has worked to cleanup Oregon beaches for the last 10 years. They brought the filters that separated the microplastic from the sand.

“‘People from Banks, oh soccer teams, athletic, oh these are athletes.’” Ward said. “I thought this is optimum.”

Both the Banks girls and boys soccer teams took part in the cleanup. It meant there were lots of extra hands available.

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Allori said plastic can be seen throughout the food chain, including in people that eat fish.

“So many people are just oblivious,” she said. “They have no idea that there’s just plastic everywhere.”

Ward said cleanups like this are part of his group’s mission.

“(In) the latest marine turtle research, every marine turtle now has microplastic in their system,” he said.

Allori said by bringing her whole team to help in the cleanup, she hopes more people learn about the importance of clean beaches.

“Just be aware of your surroundings and always try to think of what you could possibly do to make a good impact,” she said.

The teams collected a total of 120 pounds of plastic from the beach in five hours.