Zoo launches ‘Litter Free Rivers’ campaign

Zoo launches ‘Litter Free Rivers’ campaign

#Act for the Wild, #Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo

Posted on 13th June 2019 by Media Relations

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is encouraging local businesses and schools to join the Litter Free Rivers campaign and reduce plastic pollution in the region starting from today, World Environment Day, June 5.

Litter Free Rivers is a campaign designed to protect our local environment from plastic pollution. It is tackling one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our generation and safe-guarding the Platypus from extinction.

The aim of the campaign is to work to reduce plastic pollution at the source, by encouraging individuals, businesses and schools to move away from single-use and disposable plastic items in favour of reusable items.

“It’s all about reducing the source rather than dealing with the problem once it is in our waterways. For every one less straw, coffee cup or plastic bottle in our community, that is one less item to deal with in the form of rubbish,” said Zoo Director Steve Hinks.

“Litter Free Rivers is an opportunity for everyone in the community to make a difference to the local environment because right now plastic pollution is a problem that is threatening waterways and local wildlife across NSW.” 

The program provides individuals, businesses and schools with a toolkit to help them get started on ways to reduce single-use plastic in the home, workplace or school by switching from disposable to reusable.  

“We are encouraging businesses and schools to choose to reuse. The majority of litter comes from items designed to be used once. Fortunately there are many reusable alternatives to almost every disposable product,” said Steve.

The Macquarie River is the life blood of the region and so many native wildlife including the Platypus rely on a healthy waterway to survive.  

“Over the past two years Taronga Western Plains Zoo has been making a concerted effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic on site. We’ve replaced plastic straws with certified paper straws, we have removed plastic sauce sachets from the café, changed to corn-starch based takeaway containers and worked with suppliers to provide pies and sausage rolls without plastic wrapping,” said Steve.

“We are constantly looking at our operation to see what we can do to improve our environmental sustainability measures as there are positive outcomes for both the business and the environment. We would like to encourage other businesses to do the same.”

Ultimately the goal is a healthy, clean river that not only ensures a healthy future for the Platypus, but for the communities that rely on our rivers.

To register for a Litter Free Rivers tool kit visit taronga.org.au/act-for-the-wild