It is likely to be one of the great questions of the local watch scene - a beach cleanup in Singapore. Now I'm all for beach, sea and ocean cleanups as God knows that I've seen first hand the junk we humans throw in there. But unless this was a small, somewhat private effort then the choice of a beach on the tiny island state of Singapore, best known for its modern urbanity and cleanliness, is a perplexing one. Lest your geography fails you, Singapore sits in the middle of Southeast Asia - home to some of the world's greatest beaches and an unfortunate example of how to destroy world class beachfront.
Literally inside of a half hour ferry ride from Singapore's Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal is Malaysia and Indonesia, with some significant trash issues in certain spots. There is no doubt in my mind that the message of ocean conservation and cleaning up our beaches would have been better served if the event was based on an actual trashed beach. It's not hard to find guys!
On to the Clean Up
More than 100 participants including the Breitling Surfers Squad members, employees, local and regional media representatives and partners as well as children from the German Europe School Singapore, committed their afternoon to pick up the marine trash along the shoreline of East Coast Beach in support of this initiative. Organised by Breitling Southeast Asia, a total of 35kg of trash was collected during this exercise, among which were large quantities of micro plastics and cigarettes. This is the first project in Asia that Breitling and Ocean Conservancy have jointly made after the announcement of the partnership earlier this year. “Our customers are adventurers who value our planet and are keen to play a part in preserving our oceans. It is thus important to set an example if we want to achieve a new way of producing and consuming, to improve the problem of marine debris” added Alvin Soon, President of Breitling Greater China and Southeast Asia.
Squad On A Mission
The mission was joined by Breitling’s Surfers Squad members, Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons, two brilliantly talented Australian surfers who share the brand’s deep and long-held commitment to maintain clean oceans and beaches. Stephanie Gilmore who has won the World Championships on the Women’s ASP World Tour six times, says “I’ve seen with my own eyes from surfing all over the world just how serious the ocean plastic problem is. But what’s amazing is that so many people are working on and talking about this issue, and everyone can make a difference—by participating in cleanups like the one we did today with Breitling and Ocean Conservancy, or through those little decisions that you make in your everyday life to reduce single use plastics."
In the end though, I fully applaud Breitling for doing something to raise awareness about the importance of ocean conservation. Efforts like a beach cleanup really does help and as a freshman effort and I hereby award you with a solid C+. Why you may ask? Let's just say another Swiss watch company which has been doing this for a few years, a ferry's ride to your location on East Coast Beach usually drags up between 600 - 1000kg. And they're cheered on by locals especially fishermen who depend on the sea to earn a living. Squad Goals for 2019?