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Pick up street litter to help keep our beaches clean

Pick up street litter to help keep our beaches clean

Pick up street litter to help keep our beaches clean

Wednesday 16 August 2023
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Holdfast Bay resident Anthea Williams does what she can for our environment.

She’s long been involved with Council’s environmental volunteering group and keeps her 'patch' of the beach and coastal dunes weed-free.

But recently, it’s not the weeds that are causing her concern. Rather the amount of litter that has washed up on our beaches through the stormwater system.

“I have picked up buckets and buckets of rubbish out here and along the beach, in between the tides coming and going... and this is replicated all up and down the coast,” said Anthea, from her patch of beach near the Edwards Street outlet at Brighton.

“Most of the rubbish on the beach comes off the streets.... when you’re at the Marion Shopping Centre and you chuck your butt before getting into the car, it ends up on the beach.”

Much of the litter that washes through the outlet onto the beach is too small to be caught by the gross pollutant traps, which collect litter and silt from stormwater pipes, stopping it from reaching our beaches and ocean.

Among items that are getting through are cigarette butts, ear plugs, polystyrene balls, soy sauce containers, plastic bread tags and other items.

It gets caught up in the seaweed on the beach before eventually washing out to sea – if Anthea hasn’t gotten to it first.

“A couple of winters ago, I picked up literally thousands of cigarette butts – it's terrible,” Anthea said, adding she’s also collected Christmas baubles, tinsel, wet wipes, lolly pop sticks and bottle tops.

“Really something needs to be done.”

Anthea is encouraging residents, not only in Holdfast Bay but also in neighbouring councils, to pick up any street litter they see – even if it’s just from the footpath or the gutter out the front of their house.

“If people took some responsibility and we all did a bit more, it would make a difference,” she said.

“If we can keep it off the streets, then it won’t end up on the beach or in the ocean.”

There are eight gross pollutant traps across the city and they are essential in reducing the amount of debris and pollution that goes out to sea.

5 tips to help keep our beaches litter-free

  • Keep the street in front of your residence clean
  • Pick up rubbish you walk past
  • Bin your butt
  • When you go to the beach, take three for the sea –
  • Join Adopt-a-Spot -

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