MEMBERS of the Flinders community are gearing up for the Big Beach Clean Up in early January.
The four-day “coastal crusade” will include Balnarring, Point Leo, Shoreham and Flinders beaches.
“Our secret weapon is the beach hand bin, a nifty little bin designed by Josie Jones OAM,” Flinders Community Association president Mary Iles said.
“Josie starts her day by collecting rubbish on her local beaches and has volunteered over 10,000 hours to improve the water quality in Mornington Peninsula’s bays and she is and is now helping to protect our Western Port beaches.”
Iles said a pilot project by Jones had seen small litter reduced by 71 per cent.
A second pilot was successful across four beaches, including Mon Repos in Queensland, a turtle nesting beach.
“The beach hand bins teamed up with scientists and turtles alike, showing a reduction in litter. Now Josie is bringing this innovation to Western Port.”
Iles said members of Flinders Community Association in collaboration with Sea Shepherd and ocean divers “will be helping clean the beach and under the pier as we protect our pristine marine environment”.
“Let’s move from cleaning up after others to taking charge of our own beach waste, one hand bin at a time.”
As a lead-in to the big clean up at Flinders on 14 January, Jones and a team of volunteers will be at three Western Port beaches to hand out the little bins: Pt Leo 4 January; Balnarring 5 January; and Shoreham 9 January.
The day at Flinders will include face painting, stalls, a coffee cart, CFA sausage sizzle and an art competition using found objects.
“On display you will see an extraordinary map of Australia made up of collected rubbish from the National Geographic Planet or Plastic exhibition and artworks by Liz Walker,” Iles said.
Parking at Flinders would be free for the day.
“When it comes to keeping our oceans plastic-free, every little hand bin helps.
“Together, we can keep our Western Port coastlines pristine, one piece of litter at a time.”