Bondi Scavenge!

Our 15th Seaside Scavenge took place at the bustling Bondi Beach last Saturday. Unfortunately the drizzly weather kept the bustling to a minimum (at least for the start of the day). While we were setting up alongside Waverly Councils annual sustainability event Summerama, we had a crew of underwater divers scouring the sea floor over at Camp Cove.

From 7:30am the Underwater Research Group, consisting of 7 divers led by John Turnbull took to the depths to collect all sorts of sunken trash. Among the 5kg of broken glass collected, they also rescued 500m of fishing line, 142 fishing lures as well as multiple plastic fragments.

Of the 8 million tonnes of litter dumped annually into our ocean it’s already very frightening what is bobbing on the surface, let alone realising the amount sinking to the sea floor. Particularly, when much of the marine life becomes so adapted that they make our wine bottles their homes!

Back at Bondi we had all hands on deck to sort through 12,249 pieces of litter. It didn’t equate to a whole lot of weight, only 31kg in total. But simply echoed the Scavenge message that ‘every bit has a value, big or small!’. It was all very valuable for our Local Litter Check completed on behalf of the EPA and Keep NSW Beautiful, thanks to both of these groups for the grant support.

There were some legendary efforts that shone through on Saturday. Jess and Karen made butts their mission. Whether they wanted the 10 x Power Living Pass or not…. 1100 cigarette butts later and 550,000L of water potentially saved from toxins and the pass is all theirs!

Single-use nightmares like coffee cups and straws were our target on Saturday and the crew from Beach Fit Bondi put up some awesome prizes to get people pumped. Cynthia scavenged 15 coffee cups and is now looking at a 3 month F45 training pass. Katja picked up an epic 108 straws from Bondi beach… she probably doesn’t need anymore fitness after that but headed her way is a 3 month training pass to Beach Fit!

Throughout the day we were treated to the talents of Marina DeBris, a Sydney based artist who creates fashion from beach litter she has collected. 8 models grabbed the crowds attention wrapped in coffee cups, weathered down plastics, rope and fishing wire along with the rest of it… An impressive statement on consumption!

We also had artists Stella Chen and Natasha Wakefield running the Trashy Art Corner. There were loads of kids streaming through having a crafty ol’ time with the trash we’d be collecting. Thanks to these gals and Portia Briana for getting the creative vibes going!

Plastic beverage bottles although being present for only such a little amount of time have somehow managed to wiggle their way into many people’s daily habits. With 4.2 beverage containers used everyday in Australia, plastic bottles definitely are not the way! On Saturday, Karo, Lauren and Steven found 7 among a whole lot of other litter. We hope they’ve got a bubba because they’ve landed themselves a term voucher to GymbaROO, a Bondi early learning centre.

There’s always a bunch of weird and toxic items left behind on the beaches. Between beakers, dummies, nuts and bolts it was a tough call. Jen managed to bring back from the beach a rather large and out-of-place item that took the shape of a car bumper. For this find we’re stoked to send you out with the Australian Marine Sciences Association to be a Scientist with them for a day.

Just to leave you itching until the end, Lore and Steven scored the 3 x surfing lessons with Let’s Go Surfing by collecting the most litter overall 1,351 pieces from all over Bondi! We hope you get your ride on!

Another lucky soul to score a 10 x Power Living Pass was @bravelilecowarrior who captured an ironic snap on Saturday. After Kaylee, Jess and Cyn did an awesome job on the beach the three of them wanted to refresh with some juices at Surfish Café… Only to order in and have their juices delivered in plastic single-use cups.

Unfortunately, this is happening all too often… Entire cafés switching their cutlery and plates to single-use items like in About Life… ironic huh? But that’s why it was so damn awesome to have had 7 local Bondi Cafés sign on to our Plastic-Free pledge. Gertrude & Alice, Lox Stock & Barrel, Funky Pies, Cami Kitchen, Café North, Sadhana and Orchard St all took to going ‘topless’ on their coffees (no lids), not serving plastic straws and not offering plastic bags with a smile.


It’s a small step and a hard one for cafés to take over the customer. We got some great feedback from Orchard St. who said they’re going to adopt recycled bottles for their ice-drinks and only offer Bio-Pak for customers that really want it. They’re also going to start asking people if they want a lid on their coffee with their order… pretty wicked! Sadhana Kitchen gave the plastic-free pledge a good nudge taking time to explain to their beach-going customers to either take a few sips before they venture to the sand or either give themselves 5 minutes to drink in!

That’s all it takes people... giving yourself a couple minutes to think about it and to change your habits. Not saying it’s easy but it’s definitely not too hard, especially when we have a whole community of conscientious souls that want to make a difference behind us! Massive thanks to The Bucket List for putting on food and drinks for all us weary volunteers when we wrapped up... very, very much appreciated!

Anna Jane Linke