Twin brothers, Micky and Mardy, were born and raised by the blue seawaters of Atauro Island which is about 20 kilometers off the coast of Dili, the Timor-Leste capital.
Since the age of six, twins Micky and Mardy Hinton, have always been passionate about the ocean. Their group, Ekipa Tasi Mos (Clean Ocean Team), organizes regular beach clean-ups, and they record their findings in an international marine debris database, allowing the community to trace the pollution back to its original source. After collection and recording, the plastics are then recycled and transformed into beautiful products that can be sold as local handicrafts. The group is now working with the Government of Timor-Leste to support the draft of new laws to prevent and reduce the impact of single-use plastic products on the environment.
Tell us about yourselves.
Our names are Micky and Mardy Hinton. We are 12-year old twins, and we are from the beautiful and unique Atauro Island, in Timor-Leste, where we have lived our whole lives. We love our island home.
Atauro Island is the best place to grow up, to discover the beauty of nature and to view the world from a distance. Our island is very popular and it is loved not only by tourists, but by Timorese people as well.
Tell us about your project.
We are part of Ekipa Tasi Mos Atauro, which in English means, “Clean Ocean Team Atauro.” The local organization was established in 2016 and was set up to find solutions to reduce the problem of increasing marine debris that our island is facing. The problem with just cleaning beaches is that we have no record of what we are collecting and where the debris is coming from in order to find out the source of all this plastic pollution. That’s why we joined forces with the Australian Marine Debris Initiatives Database and started to record how much plastic we pick up. This becomes proof of how much plastic has been washing up on the beaches and what types of plastic we’re collecting.
Our aim is to remove plastic pollution from our local waters, and to also find ways that will provide a source of income for our communities, as well as helping ban the importation of single use plastic cups into Timor-Leste in order to protect this Island paradise we call home. We created a petition that you can sign up to and help us with achieve our goal of a plastic pollution free Atauro. We also created a Facebook page so people could follow our journey.