Cleaning up our act

By Seymour Telegraph

This year’s Clean Up Australia Day has again been a success.

Organisers of Clean Up Australia Day estimate more than 680000 volunteers across 6834 sites removed an estimated 15000tonnes of rubbish from parks, beaches, bushland, suburban streets and waterways across the nation.

Clean Up Australia chair and daughter of founder Ian Kiernan, Pip Kiernan believes her dad would be enormously proud of everyone who has taken up his crusade.

‘‘It’s amazing to see so many people are as passionate about looking after the environment as Dad was; I am confident that together we can continue to grow Clean Up Australia Day well into the future,’’ Ms Kiernan said.

‘‘I would like to thank our wonderful volunteers, who have once again joined together to donate their time and energy to remove rubbish and litter that has been carelessly discarded. I am in awe of their unparalleled ability to turn our belief that change starts with you into action.’’

Ms Kiernan said, with the prevalence of single use plastics, Clean Up Australia Day is now more important than ever.

‘‘As dad predicted, plastic is the main issue, comprising more than a third of the rubbish reported by our volunteers,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s time to take responsibility and make the right environmental choices every day. Twenty years ago, Australians created just over 460kg of rubbish per person per year. Today it is more than 2700kg, starting from the day we are born. That’s a lot of rubbish to manage.”

She is encouraging everyone to think about their shopping habits and is asking them to say no to single use bags and try to not buy excessively plastic wrapped products.

‘‘We need to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce as individuals and take simple steps such as having our beverage of choice in reusable cups and choosing products that are not pre-packaged,’’ Ms Kiernan said.

The charity does more than organise a nation-wide day to pick up rubbish.

It works with governments, community groups and business to implement more sustainable waste management systems and to think about how we deal with rubbish as a country.

‘‘We will continue to work with our amazing team of volunteers towards the implementation of better environmental practices and waste management legislation,’’ Ms Kiernan said.

‘‘We have seen container deposit legislation adopted by most of the country and a positive movement towards reducing single use plastic bags, but there is still lots of work to do.’’

Since the national event started in 1990, 17.7million Australians have donated more than 35 million hours towards caring for the environment, by removing the equivalent of 365000 ute loads of rubbish from more than 185000 registered sites across the country.

Locally, the Seymour Girl Guides did their bit.

They have been taking care of the same section of Kings Park for five years now.

The troop has seen the benefits of keeping the environment clean not only because it looks nice but also because it’s good for for the animals and birds.