- Thursday 03 September 2020
In the past four years, 450,000 pieces of litter – almost 11 tonnes of rubbish – have been collected from Sunshine Coast beaches, leaving behind a much cleaner environment for residents and wildlife.
This incredible feat was achieved thanks to the dedication of volunteers, schools, and charity and community groups, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council as part of its Beach Clean-up Program.
From January 2016 to June 2020, 761 clean-up events took place across the region – an Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) local government record.
Groups nation-wide input their information into the AMDI database, recording the location, quantities and types of marine rubbish collected, to give an overview of the impact on beaches across the country.
Environmental Operations Senior Project Officer Raeleen Draper said the Beach Clean-Up Program was successful thanks to the combined effort of the Sunshine Coast community and council.
“We are lucky to have a community that cares so much about both humans and native animals living in a clean Sunshine Coast,” Ms Draper said.
“While we are so grateful, it’s also a sad fact that we even have to do this – which is why we are also working behind the scenes with our community to reduce, at the source, the rubbish littering our beaches and waterways in the first place.
“We encourage local groups to include their data in the AMDI database, as it allows us to identify the biggest impact on our local beaches.
“Thanks to this, we’ve been able to identify some of the main rubbish culprits – like Slurpee cups, cigarette butts or doggy poo bags – impacting certain areas and work with the local community to change habits and reduce use.”
Environment Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox invites the community to get involved and join in at a beach clean-up event, where they can see the impact of marine rubbish first hand.
“Our waterways, wetlands and beaches are an important part of our lifestyle. We enjoy swimming, boating and fishing, as well as walking, cycling and meeting friends and family near the water,” Cr Cox said.
“Contributing towards a clean marine environment is also important for turtles and other native animals which permanently or seasonally call the Sunshine Coast home.
“There are regular community clean-ups available and council run events planned for later in the year, pending COVID restrictions.”
Upcoming council run events include the Schools Beach Clean Up, Clean Up for the Hatchlings and Clean Up Australia Day. Council’s website will have full details including dates in coming months.