Sup Bro is a stand-up paddle boarding company based on the Tutukaka Coast in Northland. It works with school groups, and has been educating children about plastic pollution for the past six years.
The children involved in Sup Bro’s ‘Education Outside the Classroom’ experiences take part in beach sweeps – collecting, recording and reporting what they find. Large quantities of plastic are removed from the beach as a result.
Since introducing its plastic pollution programme, Sup Bro has educated more than 3,000 children from 20 schools, as well as their teachers and parents. It offers simple strategies to participants, including the principles of reduce, reuse, refuse, and responsible disposal of landfill. The Kaupapa Māori principle of Ata (growing respectful relationships) is key to the programme and helps to foster a deeper relationship between people and the ocean.
Currently three beaches are being monitored on the Tutukaka Coast, involving between 30 and 90 people sweeping the beach every day for plastic. A data collection initiative involves people itemising and taking photos of what they find. Within the past two years, hundreds of litres of waste have been removed from the beaches.