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Article by Raeleen Draper, coastal project and permits officer, Sunshine Coast Council

An already marine debris conscious Sunshine Coast Community was galvanised into action during plastic free July and participated in multiple free events delivered through the marine debris clean-up program.

On a rainy afternoon on 7 July, 17 junior eco-leaders (and some wonderful parents)  joined “Take 3 for the Sea” co-founder Tim Silverwood in an afternoon beach clean up at Mooloolaba, a screening of Blue the Film in the Seal Auditorium at Sea Life, and an evening discussion around the marine debris problem on the Sunshine Coast.

Our young clean ocean heroes helped Tim clean up 9kg of rubbish from Mooloolaba beach and the surrounding parklands. The rubbish was sorted and added to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database. A total of 1,157 pieces of rubbish were collected which included cigarette butts, plastic food packets and containers (particularly takeaway sushi containers and sushi “fish”), straws and plastic cutlery.

After the screening of Blue the Film, Tim led the eco warriors in source reduction discussions and how best to approach those business that may be contributing the most to the marine debris in their regions.

The Sunshine Coast Council’s Marine Debris Clean Up Program is currently in its second year and in the 2017/18 period assisted in the clean up of over 83 beaches, removing over 107,000 pieces of litter and a total of 3,867kg of rubbish.

Thank you to the almost 1,900 volunteers that participated in these beach clean ups and to the everyday heroes that “Take 3 for the Sea” each time they walk on our local beaches.