“Bottle caps, styrofoam, cigarettes, glass bottles, plastic, plastic and more plastic! Generally, you wouldn't expect to find such things on the beach...
Clean Up Australia Day 2011 saw a number of YATZ members down at Athol Beach, enthusiastic and keen to take part. With the beach being only small, and so many of us turning up to help out, I assumed that it wouldn't take us long at all. How naive. Cleaning the beach was not an easy task, there was an overwhelming amount of VERY small pieces of plastic and styrofoam. The size of the rubbish made it difficult to collect, and even more difficult to fill the bags and feel like we were actually getting somewhere. It was a disheartening process, even confronting, and some of us even began to feel a little depressed.
The fact that we managed to fill two large garbage bags with these tiny bits of plastic was quite impressive. Though two bags may seem insignificant, and what we did may feel like next to nothing, it does make a large difference. As Cyrelle, the YATZ Cooridnator said "Just think of all of those small pieces of plastic that aren't in the environment any more". To know that as a result of our actions there is less rubbish on the beach, and especially less rubbish with the potential of ending up in the ocean, is a satisfying feeling.
"We wouldn't even need to be here if everyone just put their own rubbish in the bin", one YATZ member said. If everyone cleaned up after themselves, put their rubbish in the bin and didn't just toss it on the ground, or leave it for someone else to worry about, there wouldn't be nearly as much rubbish in our environments. This Earth that we live on is truly amazing, we need to realise just how lucky we are learn to appreciate it. It’s time to take responsibility and start to take better care of our Earth.
A huge thank you must go to Cyrelle for organising the cleanup site, and for inspiring us all to want to make a real difference and a change!”
Hayley – YATZ Member.
Taronga Zoo, Media Relations
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Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 6881 1400
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