NEXT time you visit the beach or the river, take three pieces of rubbish away with you.
That is the message from environmentalist and Take 3 co-founder Tim Silverwood during a visit to Port Macquarie yesterday, along with Canadian adventurer Adrian Midwood, on their Talking Trash tour.
The pair is on a 12-stop sailing journey from Brisbane to Sydney to raise awareness about plastic pollution and ways Australians can make a difference.
Mr Silverwood said plastic pollution was a massive problem affecting our oceans and wildlife.
“Here in Australia we are not immune,” he said.
“Even if the beach might look clean from afar, look closer and it’s far from clean.”
A 30 minute clean-up at Town Beach yesterday yielded a pile of rubbish including 95 cigarette butts, bottles, cans and disposable cutlery.
Mr Silverwood supports the push for a national container deposit scheme.
“We can double the recycling rate and eliminate that from our environment,” he said.
“It’s a simple measure our government can take.”
The Take 3 initiative is another way to reduce rubbish in our environment.
The initiative encourages people to take three pieces of rubbish when they leave the beach or waterway.
“You will start looking at where this stuff is coming from and that collectively can help solve the problem,” Mr Silverwood said.
We have to stop the problem of pollution on the land, as rubbish in the streets and parks ended up in the ocean, he said.
Mr Midwood is focused on solutions too.
He is promoting a technology which converts waste plastics into oil and is showcasing the Leisure Activist Clothing line – a cause-based brand made from waste materials.
The former waste material is turned into active wear from yoga gear to board shorts.
“We show people this waste can become a resource,” Mr Midwood said.
A pilot program collecting waste plastics is underway in Tonga and another collection point is up and running in the Seychelles.
Mr Midwood said people were absolutely gobsmacked when they learnt about the technology, which was extremely viable on a large scale.
“We don’t need to think the sky is falling,” he said.
“All we need to do is to focus on how to move forward.”