Taking part in the Take 3 for the Sea inaugural CEO cleanup event on the Central Coast of NSW was a real eye opener.
The sun glistened on Tuggerah Lakes with the early morning start. The air started to feel thick from bushfire smoke. The grass, brown from no rain. From the carpark, the open space designated for the CEO cleanup already looked clean.
CEO’s from local business and organisations, such as The Source Bulk Foods Erina, Untrashy and Australian Seabird Rescue (Central Coast) were divided in to three groups for the cleanup action for the land, the water and the island. We picked up a crazy amount of rubbish, especially for a place that looked clean enough. This crazy amount equated to 227kg of rubbish removed in 45 minutes!
The Land Cleanup
On land, cigarette butts were the most profuse piece of rubbish we collected. Garbage bins aplenty, the butts were still rife, scattered in amongst the dead grass and leaf debris. These little pieces of rubbish are the single most reported litter item across Australia, representing 20% of all recorded items (Clean Up Australia).
While the environmental impact of a single disposed cigarette filter is minimal, there were a whopping 1.35 trillion filtered cigarettes manufactured in the United States in 2007 (Reference Article – Cigarette Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste) And that’s the US alone. Combine that with Australia and the rest of the world, and that is a phenomenal amount of cigarette filters made and discarded every day.
The Water Cleanup
The Tuggerah Lakes is a tidal exchange estuary to the Tasman Sea via The Entrance. Plastic bags were the main piece of rubbish found floating in the water.
Whether they are single-use plastic bags, reusable plastic bags, or bags for packaging, plastic bags are a massive health and environmental issue.
Terilbah Island Clean Up
Clean up efforts on Terilbah Island quickly revealed that bottles were the major source of pollution in this localised area.
What You Can Do
Picking up other people’s rubbish is something I do as much as possible when I’m out and about. Other community members are just as passionate about the livability of their local community. Go here to find how Leonie contributes to cleaning up in her NSW Central Coast community.
What strikes me whenever I pick up rubbish, is how much we’re polluting and choking our waterways and natural bush environment, primarily with plastic-based products.
The good news is that as a community, we can turn this around
As a community who loves the best for our planet and our health, we can choose to:
- reduce our overall consumption
- refuse unnecessary disposable plastics
- reduce our reliance on plastic-based products
- pop your waste in the public garbage bins or take it home with you
Donate to Take 3 for the Sea
Our morning’s efforts raised $14,000 for Take 3 for the Sea! All donations are tax- deductible within Australia and help Take 3 reduce global plastic pollution through a range of education programs for schools, early childhood services, surf life saving clubs and the community.
For more information about Take 3 for the Sea, head to take3.org