Early on Sunday morning, in the warmth of the Winter sun, 30 committed volunteers, both young and not so young but all with concerns of human impact on our environment, joined Panamuna for a beach clean up at Rainbow Bay in Coolangatta. Part of the broader Gold Coast Green Week festivities and to celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th, this event was organised to inspire people to come together to stem the tide of pollution on our beaches and in our oceans.
At first glance the beach and its surrounds looked absolutely pristine, with no visible evidence of a pollution problem. Upon digging a little deeper, unfortunately it became obvious that this was a fallacy. In as little as half an hour we were able to collect approximately 10-20 kilograms of waste that had been disposed of incorrectly, putting the health of our marine ecosystems at risk. The most prolific culprits were plastic food wrapping and cigarette butts, but we also found some more unusual items: a tiny little plastic broom, a pair of Crocs, a child’s Billabong T-shirt. All these items, along with some more sinister items such as broken glass and a medical syringe lid (no syringe with needle evident, so hopefully that had been disposed of with consideration for others), were sorted and counted and the data sent to Tangaroa Blue to add to their databases.
Little initiatives such as this can be one way to get involved in making a difference for our planet. There are so many simple things that we can do. There are lots of other fantastic events being run all over the Gold Coast as part of Gold Coast Green Week. There are other clean ups, educational tours, workshops and talks that showcase the amazing work that is being done in our own backyard to help preserve and protect our natural environment. To get involved yourself head to www.goldcoastgreenweek.com
to find an event near you.
Video credit: Izzy Hobbs