Posted on 02nd August 2011 by Media Relations
In 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, Taronga
celebrated wildlife and the ingenuity of Australians by launching the Taronga
Green Grants. We asked a simple question
“with $50,000 and access to 1.6 million people a year, what would you do to make
Australia a safer place for wildlife?”.
Our winners, Take 3, want to inspire Australians to take personal responsibility for the plastic
waste they see on beaches to protect turtles,
penguins and other birds from the plastics’ toxins
that affectall marine wildlife and people.In July Take 3 created a huge splash at Erina Fair, running
a Schools Art Competition that gave students from 21 schools in the central
coast area a platform to express their feelings about marine debris and the
damage it causes in creative, expressive, beautiful and touching ways. The art
pieces demonstrated that students had picked up not only that plastic waste was
directly responsible for choking turtles and birds, and causing physical damage
to fins, wings and legs but also the more subtle impacts of toxins released
into this fragile ecosystem through the degradation of the plastic over time.The community response to the art work was fantastic to see
as well, perhaps this medium helps students express the strange mix of sadness and hope
they feel about the environment they will inherit more easily than words?Tim Silverwood, co-founder of Take 3 and one of this year’s
Keep Australia Beautiful ambassadors set off on July 7th across the
unsettled waters of the Great Pacific, from Hawaii to Vancouver through the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch,
in the Northern Pacific Gyre. This slow clockwise currents cause a vortex,
bringing the world's plastic waste together – a
column of waste now roughly the size of Australia and growing
exponentially every year.
Tim wrote on his blog: The trawls have all collected plastic
particles including some obscure items including a toothbrush and a small
plastic toy gorilla, I never would have expected that! We have been spotting
larger macro- debris items since day three including fishing crates, broken
pieces of plastic, pieces of plastic tube, bunches of discarded net, rope, bottle caps and plastic bottles. It’s
disheartening; especially given the fact that we are tracing such a thin line
with the boat and the debris clearly stretches in every direction much farther
than we will ever see.
Makes you think about where what you buy will end up?
Stay tuned for more updates on Take 3’s activities
throughout the year.