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Annual ‘tidy up’ that brings nation together

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Annual ‘tidy up’ that brings nation together

Some Sunshine Coast groups are already getting a jump on Clean Up Australia Day, with volunteers rolling up their sleeves to bust litter.

Swarms of dedicated volunteers will help tidy up parts of the region this weekend ahead of a national clean-up event.

Clean Up Australia will be held on March 3. It’s an annual event that brings communities together to tidy their local areas from litter and rubbish.

In 2023, more than 760,000 Australians pulled on their gloves to volunteer, including about 1200 volunteers on the Sunshine Coast.

Clean Up Australia chair Pip Kiernan says the day is just as much about education and a way to prevent rubbish in the environment as it is to clean up.

“By rolling up our sleeves and witnessing the sheer quantity as well as the common types of litter lining our streets, bushlands and waterways, we can gain a better insight into our own personal or household footprints on the environment,” she says.

“It encourages each of us to consider practical ways we can prevent that litter in the first place. Vapes, cigarette butts, coffee cups and soft plastics are amongst the commonly reported items collected by volunteers.”

Clean Up Australia’s Litter Report for 2023 reveals that plastics continue to dominate the Australian litter landscape, marking 81 per cent of all surveyed litter.

From the previous year’s report findings, there was a nine per cent rise in soft plastics and four per cent rise in hard plastics. Meanwhile, 16 per cent of the surveyed rubbish was cigarette butts.

The report shows 44 per cent of reported litter was cleared from waterway sites, followed by parks and bushland at 16 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

This year, several local groups will be running clean-ups, including Currimundi Catchment Care Group, Eumundi Rotary, Kawana Scouts, Night Eyes Water and Landcare, and Twin Waters Residents’ Association.

Sunshine Coast Council manager for waste and resource management John Hogg says Clean Up Australia Day is a time to make the Sunshine Coast shine.

“Each year, we have amazing schools, businesses and community groups all lending a hand,” he says.

“Last year, around 1200 people picked up four tonnes of rubbish across 100 different Sunshine Coast parks, reserves and beaches.

“We are grateful to the many inspirational groups and individuals who participate in and lead our region’s clean-up activities, both on Clean Up Australia Day and throughout the year.”

Many schools and businesses are participating in clean-ups prior to March 3, including Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

On February 17, Grammar staff, students and families completed the school’s 9th annual Beach Clean-Up.

This year’s efforts resulted in the removal of more than 80 kilograms of rubbish from across Mooloolaba Beach and Foreshore Park.

Through its decade-long partnership with Clean Up Australia, the school has helped remove more than one tonne of rubbish from local beaches.

To register, visit cleanup.org.au/community and select ‘join a clean-up’ to search for an event nearby.

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