Alumni Charity Update: Sustainable Coastlines

June 22, 2023

The Sustainable Coastlines Team

Since 2012, One Percent Collective donors have contributed nearly $350,000 to help Sustainable Coastlines protect and improve our oceans, coastlines and waterways. Here are some of Sustainable Coastlines’ success stories and updates since moving to Alumni Charity status with One Percent Collective in 2022.

In July ‘22, Stats NZ announced that Sustainable Coastlines Litter Intelligence citizen science data is now informing Wellbeing Indicators. In particular, the ‘Waste flows in waterways and coastal marine environments’ indicator which demonstrates the amount of waste discharged into waterways and coastal areas around NZ each year. 

Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand was developed by Stats NZ as a source of measures for New Zealand’s wellbeing and aims to help monitor progress around social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing. The wellbeing indicators are built on international best practice, and are tailored to New Zealand. 

In October ‘22, polystyrene takeaway containers, plastic cotton buds and drink-stirrers were among single-use plastics banned from sale or manufacture in New Zealand. These were the first new plastic-related bans since plastic bags were banned in 2019.

The new bans were partially informed by data collected through Litter Intelligence, Sustainable Coastlines’ national beach litter monitoring programme. The Sustainable Coastlines team is proud that all the mahi put in by their dedicated citizen scientists is bearing fruit! If you’ve been a part of Litter Intelligence, or a Sustainable Coastlines donor – you’ve helped make this happen. Here’s to seeing less plastic on our beautiful beaches!

In November ‘22, Sustainable Coastlines said farewell to co-founder and programmes director, Camden Howitt. Since early 2009, Camden has been a driving force for solutions to ocean pollution. Alongside co-founder Sam Judd, Camden designed and delivered programmes that have removed 1.7 million litres of litter from coastlines, planted 330,000 trees to restore waterways, engaged 150,000 volunteers and provided education for ocean action to 250,000 people.

Reflecting on his departure, Camden said that while it was a tough decision, the time was right. He leaves a legacy of well-established programmes and a great team to continue the mahi.

“I’m proud of everything our wonderful whānau has achieved over the years, and I consider myself lucky to have been surrounded by so many brilliant, passionate people along the way,” added Howitt.

“I want to thank our Sustainable Coastlines team, our Board, our unwavering partners and supporters, and our incredible network of volunteers who turn up time and time again. Without you Sustainable Coastlines could not have existed, but with you, I know it will continue to thrive.”

In March ‘23, for Seaweek 2023, Sustainable Coastlines announced a renewed focus on clean beaches with an ambitious goal to see 60% less litter on our beaches by 2030. Waste, plastic pollution in particular, contributes to climate change and threatens both marine habitats and human health. It is an issue that demands urgent, dedicated attention, which is why the Sustainable Coastlines is ramping up efforts to protect our ocean.

To measure national progress towards its 60% goal, Sustainable Coastlines will use Litter Intelligence data. According to Community Engagement Director, Ben Knight, litter data will also be key to informing policy and action to reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up on the beach.

“We’ve already made headway informing policy change through Litter Intelligence. Citizen science data helped to inform the nationwide phase-out of hard-to-recycle plastics that’s currently underway,” says Knight.

“Litter data collection is a great way to engage and empower communities to take action for their local beach, but it also contributes invaluable data that’s available for anyone to use.

”It’s in this intersection of community action and policy change that the charity can reduce the amount of rubbish found on our coastlines, says Sustainable Coastlines CEO, Josh Borthwick.

May ‘23 saw Sustainable Coastlines expand their Litter Intelligence programme. Tackling litter and plastic pollution here in Aotearoa New Zealand has implications beyond our shores. Homegrown solutions have the potential to build on positive change overseas. Sustainable Coastlines were invited to share the Litter Intelligence programme with communities in the Pacific.

So far, Sustainable Coastlines staff have run workshops in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu, and have plans to do the same in Samoa, and Tonga. Learn more about the Pacific Litter Intelligence programme here

Check out these impressive Sustainable Coastlines stats from the past financial year reporting period:

  • 57,673 trees planted alongside waterways
  • 45,366 litres of litter removed from our coastlines
  • 18,661 volunteers
  • 35,612 volunteer hours
  • 404 Litter Intelligence surveys
  • 107,943 pieces of litter audited
  • Average litter density of 325 pieces of litter per 1,000m2 of Aotearoa’s coast we survey, 80% of which is plastic!
  • Plus 10 litter surveys across the Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Wallis and Futuna, scaling up our work in the Pacific!

As a One Percent Collective alumni charity, we now post just one Sustainable Coastlines update per year. If you'd like more frequent updates from Sustainable Coastlines, join their newsletter list here.

Words and image supplied by Sustainable Coastlines.

Sustainable Coastlines now Alumni Charity

Sustainable Coastlines is now an Alumni Charity of One Percent Collective. We have been proud to have supported them since 2012 and have now moved them to Alumni status to make way for more grassroots charities to take a spot in our donor sign up form. We love everything about Sustainable Coastlines and will still be passing on 100% of donations from those who signed up to give to them while they were a priority charity of ours. If you'd like to directly support Sustainable Coastlines, please head on over to

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