VOLUNTEERS who clean up rubbish left by others at Mornington Peninsula beaches are calling for help to do their job even better.
As part of BeachPatrol Australia – the umbrella organisation concerned about the plastic that is ending up on beaches – volunteers at Rye, Safety Beach, Dromana, Mornington, Rosebud, McCrae, Blairgowrie, Mount Eliza and Mount Martha are removing litter, one plastic wrapper and disposable coffee cup at a time.
In the collective effort to keep streets clean and stop plastic litter entering the creeks, canals, beach or ocean, BeachPatrol has teamed with inland groups of Love Our Street to spread the word that community action can make a difference and it is as simple as giving an hour a month and joining like-minded people to clean up plastic litter.
These volunteers span 11 local government areas, representing 42 suburbs in Victoria and on average log 120 clean ups a month.
Love Our Streets’ Ashley Porter, said more volunteers and new group leaders were needed to spread the work being done year-round into more areas.
“We are on a clear mission to not only pick up litter and record it, but also to re-educate the community on the use and abuse of plastic,” Porter said.
According to BeachPatrol Australia president Dr Ross Headifen the regular clean-ups are a reminder of the large amount of plastic litter discarded onto our beaches and streets, with the potential to harm wildlife.
“We currently have a great team of volunteers who are determined to continue this important work,” he said.
“However, we need more volunteers to grow our movement. We are coming together to not only tidy our suburbs but to reinforce our position in highlighting the need to reduce the number of single-use plastic items being used and the associated amount of litter being discarded.”
Headifen said the campaign was also an effort to raise awareness by re-educating the community that littering just shows a lack of care for the environment.
“We all should know how to be sensible when it comes to proper rubbish disposal methods. So why are we still failing,” he said.
“We should be filled with pride for our suburbs, beaches and streets, but it is sometimes a challenge if our open areas are tainted with litter. Let’s change this now.”
According to Headifen, after more than nine years of recording data for BeachPatrol and Love Our Street groups, some staggering statistics have been made public.
“We have collected nearly 900,000 pieces of plastic, with tens of thousands of drink bottles, food wrappers and coffee cups.”
“BeachPatrol and Love Our Street is about local communities taking action all year round to record and raise the awareness of the issues of plastic litter.”
To join a BP or LOS group visit beachpatrol.com.au