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Brother and Konica Minolta team up to tackle latest Sustainable Coastlines Litter Intelligence Survey

It was a privilege to welcome three colleagues from Konica Minolta New Zealand to our latest six-monthly Litter Intelligence Survey last week. Brother New Zealand has been an Authorised Distributor for Konica Minolta since 2020, and this was a great way to work together on something bigger than ourselves.

These surveys are run by Sustainable Coastlines and are not only about picking up rubbish but monitoring the types of rubbish collected so we know more about what’s in our water and what’s washing up on our beaches.

12 volunteers spent a morning picking up and collecting rubbish at Pilot Bay in Mount Maunganui. Unfortunately, when compared to previous surveys, there are some concerning takeaways:

  • 283 items in total is an increase on the 110 items Sustainable Coastlines picked up in their last survey in September. But it is down from the 379 items our volunteers found in the same area last June.
  • A total weight of 188 grams appears a pleasing drop from the 2.8kg we found last time. However, the team collected a lot of tiny plastic nurdles, which are big hazards for fish, birds, and other marine wildlife that can easily mistake microplastics for food.
  • Plastic remains a big proportion of all litter – it was 68% of everything collected this time around. Foamed material was also a concern, with the team finding significant amounts of polystyrene fragments from product packaging and foam food containers.
  • Volunteers would likely have collected more rubbish, if not for the unknown unsung hero who was already there picking up rubbish when volunteers arrived. Regardless, it’s great to see people also taking care of local community spaces.
  • The amount of rubbish picked up on these surveys fluctuates each time, but we’re yet to see any clear trend of rubbish either increasing or decreasing. This reinforces the need for us to continue helping out, both by volunteering our time and by reducing the environmental impact of our business.

These surveys can be sobering, particularly when we realize there’s no noticeable decrease in the rubbish on our beach.

Our volunteers noted picking up a surprising amount of litter right where a young family was building sandcastles on the beach, which was food for thought for us all and a reminder to care for the environment for future generations to come.

Once again, it’s a reminder that there’s still a lot of work to do to reduce the amount of rubbish in our environment. Many thanks to Sustainable Coastlines for the incredible work they continue to do.

You can view the full survey results here:

All findings are published and regularly updated at, where businesses and individuals can also find information on how to get involved.


About Litter Intelligence

Litter Intelligence is Aotearoa’s first and only national litter monitoring programme, enabling communities to collect data, gain insights and take action to prevent litter. Led by New Zealand charity Sustainable Coastlines, the programme works in close collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand.

Brother has been an active sponsor of Sustainable Coastlines since 2017, and 2022 marked its first as an official Litter Intelligence Monitoring Supporter for Pilot Bay - an initiative Brother has committed to funding until at least 2025 as part of its wider commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Brother New Zealand and Konica Minolta staff team up to tackle the latest Sustainable Coastlines Litter Intelligence survey at Pilot Bay in Mount Maunganui
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