Clean Up Australia - cleaning up before the whales arrive
By Caitlin Murphy
Clean up Australia Day was a success with 16 volunteers signing up to clean up Burleigh Beach on Sunday the 3rd of March. In a span of just a few hours volunteers were returning with full bags of everything you could imagine and more, with the rubbish collected from the Burleigh sand dunes varying from an array of microplastics to a full 6 pack of alcohol and backpacks totalling an astounding 10 to 12kg of unnecessary waste.
The most collected item were cigarette butts coming in at over 850 cigarette butts found followed by about 40 plastic straws, 12 cans both full and empty, glass bottles also full and empty including an entire unopened 6 pack, bottle caps, plastic bottles, 9 balloons and single use coffee cups. I also found interesting that at least 15 lollypop sticks were collected that I was not previously on my mind when listing single use plastics.
We can reduce single plastics in our everyday lives by just changing a few small things at a time. Instead of using that plastic straw opt for paper, most stores are becoming more aware and offering paper instead, or even better grab a reusable straw and create a take-away pack to take with you that includes a reusable straw, cutlery and a keep cup.
Single use plastics and microplastics are a major issue in relation to our oceans and its marine life and is linked to marine mammal stranding and an overall suffering of marine life.