August to October is time to take to your streets, beaches, bushland and waterways to join the Great Northern Clean Up.
Clean Up Australia is calling on you to step up and register for the Great Northern Clean Up. The northern sibling of Australia’s largest environmental day of action, Clean Up Australia Day, the Great Northern Clean Up has been an annual event since 2009, giving communities north of the Tropic of Capricorn the flexibility to participate in Clean Up events in the cooler months, after the peak tourist period and prior to the cyclone season.
Clean Up Australia Chairman, Pip Kiernan, says now is the time to Step Up to Clean Up. “Local environments have been impacted by increased uptake of single-use, disposable items,” said Ms Kiernan. “We need to tackle the surge in items such as takeaway coffee cups, food packaging and masks; all of which have polluted our local parks, bushland, streets, waterways and beaches”.
Research* reveals more than one in three Aussie households produced more packaging waste during lockdown periods in 2020 compared to previous years, while over half said they are now more concerned about product packaging waste than they were in 2019.
“Our latest Clean Up Australia Rubbish Report revealed that half of all single use items reported in 2020 were either plastic or contained plastic and packaging overall continues to dominate rubbish counts, representing close to 50% of all reported rubbish during the year,” added Ms Kiernan.
“This country now produces 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, equating to 100kg per person. Of this, only 13% of plastic is recovered and 84% is sent to landfill. More concerningly, around 130,000 tonnes of the plastic we consume leaks into the environment each year”.
“By planning ahead and signing up to a Great Northern Clean Up event, you are making a pledge to help conserve the environment for the long-term future, and taking an important action by stepping up for your community,” added Ms Kiernan.
“The State Government Waste Disposal Fees are looking to rise in 2022-2023 for Councils who deposit waste into landfill. As householders, it is important to recycle right and reuse more, therefore reducing waste to landfill,” said Cr Lancini.
In response to COVID-19, additional conditions have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of Clean Up volunteers, including set limits to volunteer numbers per event and Clean Up kits now include QR codes for registration on the day plus bags and gloves for every volunteer.
“Stepping Up to Clean Up goes well beyond one day. It’s an ongoing commitment to protecting our environment and looking for ways to help live more sustainably 365 days a year,” said Ms Kiernan.
If you cannot join the Great Northern Clean Up, Ms Kiernan urges you to make a donation to Clean Up Australia. 100% of funds raised through donations are allocated to the provision of educational resources and clean up materials provided free of charge to community, school and youth groups across the nation, all year round.
To register your Clean Up, sign up to a Clean Up or donate, please visit cleanup.org.au
WHAT: Great Northern Clean Up
WHEN: late August – October 2021
WHERE: Your local park, waterway, bus area, bushland, beach or street
WHO: Everyone is welcome – friends, family, kids, community groups, work colleagues
HOW: Register (or donate) at cleanup.org.au
* Quantum Market Research, Pact Group Community Attitudes to Waste and Recycling Report, July 2020.