Beach Patrol

Hello Dear Reader,

The last time we went camping to Noosa North Shore we discovered a wonderful organised beach clean up going on, it was organised by the Sunshine Coast Surfrider Foundation. In the past when we have been picking up rubbish from our favourite beach we have felt like we were up against a big rubbish producing machine and felt completely alone and frustrated that our little effort couldn't possibly make a difference. It was such a wonderful sight to see other people that are passionate about cleaning up our beaches too.

The Sunshine Coast Surfrider Foundation have been organising and sponsoring this six monthly event for ten years and it is well organised and publicised, with free camping for volunteers that register and pick up rubbish, a big BBQ on the last day and prizes for the most rubbish collected, the weirdest item found and the most micro plastics collected. It is a real family event, encouraging everyone be get involved. On average they pick up two tonnes of rubbish every 6 months, isn't that figure staggering!

I have also recently heard about this organisation, Take 3 for the Sea, which encourages everyone that steps foot on a beach to take three pieces of rubbish and bin them, when they visit a beach. I really believe that if everyone did that, our beaches and oceans would be cleaner. Well, that and not littering to begin with, would make an even bigger impact.

We all know our oceans are sick and full of toxic plastic and man made rubbish of all sizes and shapes and all this rubbish ends up on our beaches and visa versa. Below is just a small example of what we collected over a week at Noosa North Shore, once my eyes had been alerted to the plague of plastic on this beach I love, I just can't walk or drive past any, without stopping to pick it up. The two most common items I find on the beach, that drive me nuts, are plastic shopping bags and plastic water bottles and ironically enough those are the two items that are really easy to substitute for a reusable bag or bottle, if everyone used reusable versions of just those two things, our beaches would be so much better of!




When I was talking to one of the organisers, he mentioned that all the plastic rubbish is collected by a company called "Newtech Poly" in Newcastle, they have a machine that will take plastic that is up to 60% contaminated with sand and beach debris and turn it into functional items like benches. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any information about this company so I can't provide a link, hopefully they exist!








The following are some links about the movement "Ban the Bag" and some wonderful alternatives to plastic bags, can we finally get rid of this menace?

https://act.greenpeace.org.au/petitions/ban-the-bag-queensland-1

13 comments

  1. Two Tonnes every 6 months!!!! Just in one little area! Our planet just CANNOT sustain this for much longer. Stats like that make me want to do more, change more, push more for new legislation! I just learned India has banned single use plastic, because their country is literally drowning in it! We have to follow suit!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, yes it is quite unbelievable isn't? I watched "War on Waste" today on IVIEW and the plastic bag issue doesn't seem to be going away, no wants to own this huge problem. I agree we must stop all single use plastic bags immediately!
      Fi

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  2. We're on the edge of a National lakeshore in the U.P. You can't hike in the woods, miles from anywhere, without finding garbage. It's disgusting what people leave in the forest. There is no outcry about it, sadly. We still have plastic bags at the grocers, too. And then, to add insult to injury, we have Trump for president. Nothing will be done here for a very long time, I'm afraid. We pick up trash when we see it but it's minuscule compared to what needs to be done.
    Debbie

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    1. Isn't it so sad that even in a national forest, miles from anywhere, there is rubbish! I know that feeling of hopelessness when you pick up so much rubbish only to have it back the next day/week/year. All we can do is keep trying.
      Fi

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  3. Hi Did you manage to catch the ABC show last week - War on Waste? It is on again tonight. I am very interested in seeing where their experiment into plastic bags that we take back to the supermarkets really does end up. I lived in the Netherlands for 12 years all through the 90's and you never put groceries in plastic bags you always had to bring your own bags or small crates. Christeen

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    1. Hi Christeen, yes I did watch the show, I down loaded IVIEW so I could watch it when I had some time, I watched the second episode today and again was amazed, disgusted and saddened by what I saw. Good grief when will enough be enough to make our politicians sit up and take notice, probably when it is all too late. All we can do is keep trying.
      Fi

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  4. Hi Fiona. I have been a follower of your blog for a while now and just love the topics you cover. Particularly this one!! The amount of plastic waste everywhere is just out of control and as Cheryl says, our planet cannot sustain this for much longer. We are trying to do as much as we can in our house to cut the use of plastic. I work for one of the major supermarket chains, and the amount of waste generated in just one store is insane!!!! Plastic is everywhere - from food packaging to bags and bottles. Thousands of plastic bags are used in our store each day, because that's what people demand. So much of what can be recycled just isn't. The food waste is even worse. Trolleys and trolleys are lined up on the back dock every night to be thrown in the bin - everything from bread, seafood, deli meats, to fruits and vegetables. I get so angry, but unfortunately so many people just do not care. People need to start opening their eyes and being more vocal because change needs to happen!! Jill

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    1. Hi Jill,
      Thanks for reading my ramblings, I try and make my blog a reflection of my life, what I love and how I feel about certain topics. I am passionate about this issue and you are so right, plastic is everywhere, we just have to keep on trying to change the thoughts of the government, if we all are saying the same thing and loud enough, maybe there will be change. Oh my, it must be so hard to watch all that waste at the supermarket, it is just plain bonkers! Why, why, why can't that food be channelled to those who would be going hungry tonight? Can you contact OZ harvest or Second Bite and tell them of the waste, maybe they can do something?
      Fi

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  5. Hi Fiona, I've just finished watching War on Waste and then I've opened up your post - it's just staggering the amount of waste that people don't seem to care about!! I belong to a 4WD club and recently we had a big clean-up on Fraser Island. It has similar kinds of incentives for people to go (but obviously only 4WD), and I don't know the figures but there were lots of extra large containers just full of rubbish. We also had to remove lots of weeds but most of those were just left on site and not removed to the bins. You wouldn't think that people who go to enjoy the pristine conditions would just leave rubbish behind but obviously it happens!

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    1. I know Helen, isn't just appalling? Wasted food and rubbish on our beaches make me so angry I could scream! It just amazes me also that people make special trips to beautiful pristine beaches but think nothing of leaving their rubbish behind, do they think that something magical happens at the beach and it just disappears?
      Fi

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  6. Hi Fiona, I've just recently discovered your blog. Your posts are very interesting and informative, thank you.
    This post is very thought provoking. I absolutely hate plastic bags and always carry a foldup bag in my purse to cut down on plastic carry bags, even so, we still manage to have so much waste packaging. Sadly, I find more and more items are being sold unnecessarily pre-packaged.
    Janine

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    1. Hi Janine,
      It does make you think, doesn't? Good on you for taking your own bag, it is the small things we do often, that bring about real change. I do try and source most produce without packaging, it doesn't always work out that way as I also need to stick to a budget. Thanks for reading my ramblings.
      Fi

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  7. Plastic is just so pervasive...it's everywhere! On North Stradbroke Island, where we holiday every year, there is the Moreton Bay Marine Research Station. One of the scientists there, Dr. Kathy Townsend, has been studying the impacts of marine pollution on sea turtles. These beautiful creatures are dying because of the plastics they ingest. And they aren't the only creatures dying because of it. It makes me want to weep!

    We can all do something about this! Using our reusable bags, speaking up when we go into a supermarket and see all those fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic, buying in bulk and taking our own produce bags to bring home those bulk goods, picking up "3 (or more) for the sea" every time we go to the beach, taking our own resuable cups and cutlery and so on...this is something where every individual can make a difference to the amount of rubbish (OUR rubbish) that ends up in our environment.

    I think it is Dr. David Suzuki who says, "Whatever we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves." When you read about microplastics being ingested by fish, because our oceans are so polluted now with the plastics we throw away, and we in turn are eating those fish, it's not beyond imagination to envisage the consequences of our disregard for the Earth coming back full circle to impact upon us.

    Meg



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