I took Rosemary and Yumi to Collins beach some weeks ago. I probably talked it up, but it’s remarkable this secluded beach is just minutes from the bustle of Manly’s Corso. When we arrived though, I was shocked by the amount of rubbish that had been washed up in the high tide. Plastic bags, wrappers and bottles were strewn across the beach, looking more like a tip than one of Sydney’s fine harbour beaches.
It’s easy to lay blame on tourists or the local council but the sad reality is rubbish, particularly plastic waste that finds its way into the ocean, is not only an eyesore but a threat to marine life as they become entangled or ingest it, causing injury or death. So it really becomes everyone’s responsibility.
There are numerous grassroots campaigns that are making positive change in this area because they are accessible and localise action. In the case of the Two Hands Project, all you need is “30 minutes, Two hands, Anywhere, Anytime” to make change, while Take 3’s message is “take three pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere and you have made a difference”.
It’s also inspiring to see how people are turning rubbish into art. I took the following picture at Confest a few years ago. I’m afraid I don’t have a name to credit, but this artist collected hundreds of discarded cigarette lighters, washed up along waterways, to create striking mandalas.