HomeArticlesLifestyleGold Coast community groups take action for a clean city

Gold Coast community groups take action for a clean city

Helen Stubbs | November 2020

Enjoying beautiful clean parks and sparkling beaches is an important part of Gold Coast culture. Pristine environments are good for everyone and allow our stunning landscape to shine, and our local wildlife—wallabies, birds, fish, whales and dolphins—to thrive.

Community groups like Seaside Scavenge and Plastic Pollution Solutions offer great opportunities for residents to get involved in keeping the city clean, while the City of Gold Coast champions the drive with a strategic Litter and Illegal Dumping Reduction Plan, offering residents the chance to win a $500 Tourist Park Voucher by participating in a Litter and Dumping Survey.

Gold Coasters showed their support for a clean city at Burleigh Seaside Scavenge on 24 October, with 109 kilograms of litter collected in a fun atmosphere of music and prize-giving. For every piece of litter, regardless of the size, collectors were rewarded with tokens that could be traded for donated items at Seaside Scavenge’s market.

“It was a really good event,” says founder, Anna Jane Linke. “The Scavenge is about engaging new people with their local environment. Eighty-two per cent of our 7500 participants Australia-wide have never done a clean up before. So we’re engaging new people through the incentives of a market, fun community action and live music. The impact is that more people see the changes they can implement to be part of the solution. “

“It’s about bringing people who may not have been interested or aware of the problem into this world and starting the conversation, to start people on their journey to become custodians of the planet.”

Linke’s Spring Into Scavenge program trains people and guides them through running a Seaside Scavenge event. Litter data is collected and compiled by Tangaroa Blue to guide source reduction management and influence government legislation, says Linke.

Plastic Pollution Solutions founder Anthony Hill is another passionate advocate for managing and reducing single use plastic.

“Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time on the Gold Coast and have seen a growing movement to protect our waterways, beaches and oceans,” says Hill.

“The Gold Coast is known as Australia’s premier tourist destination and so it’s important to keep it clean for that reason—but also just because we love it!

“Community groups like Boomerang Bags, Plastic Free Gold Coast, Plastic Free Coolangatta, Surfrider Foundation and many more have been active for years, tirelessly cleaning beaches and educating the public about how to reduce single-use plastic.

“Council have been very active—especially the Catchment Management team who have enthusiastically assisted this movement via grant funding and other resources.”

In tune with the City’s Litter and Illegal Dumping Plan, Hill says it’s important to be proactive about litter.

“Evidence shows that, despite our best efforts with clean-ups, recycling and improving waste management, plastic pollution of our oceans is increasing. The vast majority of this is poorly designed, single-use, so-called ‘disposable’ plastic from consumer items and food packaging. So, in short, we need to radically change the way we think and operate if we are serious about addressing this issue.”

Hill invites anyone interested to get in touch by email or phone.

“I’ve been involved in educating and advocating on this issue for over 10 years and am inspired by how this plastic-free movement has grown just in the last few years. People of all ages and backgrounds are getting on board and changing their habits but I’d have to say that I’m particularly impressed with the younger generation who have joined the dots and are very aware and active.  But we still have a long way to go. Plastic companies recently announced that they intend to increase production by 40 per cent when we are already producing nearly 400 million tonnes per year and millions of tonnes are ending up in our ocean.”

The City of Gold Coast invites you to share your issues, concerns and priorities on litter or dumping in your area by completing the Litter and Dumping Survey between 11 November and 2 December, and enter the draw to win one of five $500 City of Gold Coast Tourist Park vouchers.

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