Plastic Free Sutherland Shire which is the first focus initiative of SO Shire (Sustainable Organisations of the Sutherland Shire) in partnership with Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign (Sydney branch) held their second collaborative annual Plastic Free July clean up at Kurnell on Sunday. They were supported by over 70 volunteers of all ages, from the local and greater Sydney community, who turned up with their gloves on and ready to clean. It was inspiring to see the happy and excited families, Together they managed to collect a massive 205.2KGs of litter, including an unusual find of a batch of old metal ATM compartments, a time capsule geocache (of whom the owner they are trying to find) and a whole like of plastic glitter.
How much, not just weight, of litter is important to mention as many plastics are very light but are littered in numerous numbers. Not all litter is on purpose, therefore SO SHIRE aims to educate individuals and businesses to ‘swap for the sea’ by swapping out single e use plastic items for reusable or compostable packaging instead.
Around 50% of all plastic produced annually is made into single-use products, used for around 12 minutes on average. A large proportion of these items find their way into our waterways – as litter, blown from bins, tables, hands or cars, blown from landfill sites and washed down drains or toilets are just some ways plastic makes it to the oceans. We want to remove and stop them before they get there, and we need your help.
A tally of some of the other items collected included:
– 103 Single Use Plastic Drink Bottles
– 542 Food Packaging pieces
– 455 cigarette butts (filters are made out of non-biodegradable form of cellulose acetate and absorb the toxins from the cigarette and release and pollute into the soil and water )
Many of the volunteers and those who passed by and joined the team were very surprised with not only the amount of litter collected in just over an hour, but also the variety of the litter type. Many of the items used day in and out end up in our environment, even if the person did the right thing and disposed the item in the bin. Not only did the volunteers leave Silver Beach and Bonna Point reserve a cleaner place, the Litter was then sorted into recyclable and non-recyclable items for recycling, @returnandearnnsw, and disposal. all the number of items collected were counted and entered in the Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s Australian Marine Debris Database. This citizen science database provides scientists, government agencies, communities and organisations data on the state of marine debris collected by volunteers for education, policy or research purposes.
The Sea Shepherd Marine debris Campaign is an Australian Wide campaign to combat the growing tide of marine debris in the world’s oceans and waterways. Find out more about their monthly clean ups at: www.seashephered.org.au/marinedebris/ <www.seashephered.org.au/marinedebris/>
FOR LOCAL MEDIA REPORTS ON THE EVENT SEE:
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Be sure to get involved in the next SO Shire Clean-Up event, Seaside Scavenge, on the 8th December, a festival that will include local sustainable organisations at Dunningham Park. Cronulla. Volunteers can win great prizes from local businesses, and earn a Scavenger Trash Tokens for pieces of litter. These tokens will then be accepted at Northies pub and at the pre-loved, pop-up markets, which gives a second lease of life to pre-loved goods, all while the community clean up the beautiful Cronulla coastline.
SO SHIRE is a community driven network of individuals, businesses and organisations all working together for a sustainable shire, with our main focus is coworking with local and Australian groups and businesses to turn the tide on single use plastic waste www.soshire.org/ <www.soshire.org/>
SO SHIRE continues throughout the year working with and supporting residents, businesses, schools and visitors to kick the single use plastic habit, to choose and invest in sustainable alternatives so they can limit the local plastic pollution and landfill waste created.
To find out about their sustainable business certification program and to Keep update to date with everything happening at SO Shire
Web – http <www.soshire.org/plastic-free-sutherland-shire>s://www.soshire.org/plastic-free-sutherland-shire <www.soshire.org/plastic-free-sutherland-shire>
Instagram -https://www.instagram.com/plasticfree_sutherlandshire/ <www.instagram.com/plasticfree_sutherlandshire/>
Facebook – www.facebook.com/SOSShire/ <www.facebook.com/SOSShire/>