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Clean machines . . . Students from Waitaki Girls' and Waitaki Boys' high schools joined forces last Friday for a beach clean-up at Friendly Bay. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A beach clean-up at Friendly Bay on Friday afternoon had a great turnout, with more than 20 people lending a hand.

The Waitaki Girls’ High School Enviro Club organised the event, and was joined by helpers from the Waitaki Boys’ Enviro Club as well as Forest and Bird Waitaki, spokeswoman Tilly King said.

“We filled nearly 12 sacks with rubbish, mostly plastics, and heaps of cigarette butts.”

Two little blue penguins were spotted along the wharf, one of which had made a nest out of little bits of plastic, Tilly said.

“This really highlights the need for regular clean-ups, not only to prevent plastic waste from entering Te Moana Nui-a-Kiwa [the Pacific Ocean], but also to protect our threatened species from using waste as nesting materials and mistaking the waste as food.”

Waitaki Boys’ had recently established its own Enviro Club, and the Waitaki Girls’ pupils were keen to start collaborating with them more often by holding fortnightly clean-up events around Oamaru and the Waitaki region, she said.