Beach clean-ups at Waitara and East End/Fitzroy have highlighted the litter problem on our coastline.
Hundreds of plastic bottles and bags, dozens of glass bottles and food wrappers, and several fishing lines were among the rubbish collected by high school students as part of Leadership Week at the end of June.
“All of this rubbish can harm our coastal and marine life, not to mention children or adults who can stand on broken glass that’s hidden in the sand,” says Manager Corporate Strategy and Policy Kate Macnaught.
“Rubbish can be dropped on a park or road and blown into a river and taken down to our beaches, or can be washed ashore from boats, or left behind by people who go to the beach for a drink or a picnic.
“The only safe way to dispose of rubbish is in bins or through the residential refuse collection. Please don’t leave rubbish in a public place for someone else to clean up.”
The students collected 1,905 items at East End/Fitzroy beaches. These included 1,381 items of plastic products (including bottles, packaging and straws), 107 food wrappers, 86 polystyrene products, 66 pieces of paper and cardboard, 33 glass bottles, 30 pieces of fishing line and rope, 29 aluminium cans, and 23 pieces of timber (not driftwood).
Of the 1,157 items collected at Waitara Beach, there were 443 items of plastic (including bottles, bags and piping), five car tyres and five syringes, and hundreds of polystyrene and aluminium items.
The individual items from a clean-up at Bell Block Beach were not collated, but the 14 large bags of rubbish mirrored the material found at Waitara and Fitzroy/East End.
“What’s frustrating is that much of this rubbish can be recycled, whether it’s from the residential kerbside collection or at the transfer station on Colson Road,” says Mrs Macnaught.
“However it was heartening to see how concerned the young people involved in the Leadership Week have been about this problem, especially with the student Coastal Ambassadors bringing the issue to the attention of their school peers.”
Information about the material collected from these beach clean-ups will be entered into the Sir Peter Blake Trust national database, as part of Leadership Week.