In a nutshell - for every person in Australia, there is five pieces of rubbish littering our coastline.
Take 3 was conceived on a notion that if even 1% of the Australian population took three pieces of rubbish in one day while they were out and about, they would remove 669,600 pieces off our coastline! Not only that, you could do it if you were out jogging, surfing, fishing or on your way to work or school! A brief moment in your day where you can give a little back to nature for the enjoyment you received and it doesn't cost you time or money!
For those who are not familiar with Take 3, we are a not for profit group (real people - surfers, divers and beach lovers) promoting a simple message -"Take 3” pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere. Our mantra is "Pick it up Bin it Take 3 for the Sea"
In 2011 our small crew of passionate 'Take 3'ers' were awarded a $50,000 Inaugural Green Grant from Taronga Conservation Society Australia. One of the factors that I believe weighed heavily in favour of our successful grant application was the simplicity of the concept in identifying the divulging of responsibility to everyone, everyday.
The vastness of the marine debris problem on a global scale is enormous and disheartening. The Australian Government has funded a federal grant for a three year study into this problem and enabled scientist for the CSIRO, Denise Hardesty, to confirm some preliminary findings. These findings were reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday 6th June, you can read the article here
These studies are not surprising, and validate the work Take 3 has been doing within schools and the community to create awareness and start a dialogue on a national scale. One of the many programs we are working on is the alignment with Tangaroa Blue to encourage schools and community groups from all over Australia to contribute to marine audits in their local area. This is fed into a national data base and will help graph the kind of rubbish that is entering our waterways and give us an idea of where it is coming from. Without this data, it will be hard to encourage manufacturer responsibilities and hopefully head down the path of 'cradle to cradle', essentially waste free, product and packaging.
Of course we are not going to fix the problem overnight- but we can get people thinking about their own use of single use disposable plastics and start questioning the throwaway lifestyle mentality. If we can get people talking, thinking and engaging on the marine debris issue we stand a better chance of looking with hope towards sustainable outcomes.
I encourage anyone who reads this to go out and Take 3. After all, you might not have put it there but you can take it away.
Amanda – President, ‘Take 3’
Taronga Zoo, Media Relations
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