Considering the risks of selecting a date, months in advance for an outside event in the middle of winter, we got off pretty lightly with just some heavy gusts. Despite that, Saturday was everything we could have wanted from a Scavenge.
Over 100 people from the Eurobodalla shire rolled in and assisted in collecting 214kg of litter, including 83kg of recycling from the foreshore and parks. An impressive and disturbing outcome of the day was the quantity of butts collected; 11,028. Yes, over 11,000 cigarette butts in just 3 hours!
1 butt roughly contaminates the surrounding 50L of water with toxins. In marine mammals such as whales and dolphins - who are at the top of the food chain, and have the most blubber –these toxins become concentrated and result in the highest levels of contaminants. These toxins can even pass through mother’s milk in mammals, resulting in calf mortality.
For those that have come to the Scavenge, we don’t focus on the doom and gloom of the plastic and toxin pollution issue. Our aim is just to get our scavengers out there, talking with people they wouldn’t usually and getting inspired to keep their backyard clean and change how they shop.
With Plastic-Free July upon us, and so many activities happening around the country and the globe, take this opportunity to connect with your community and most importantly, change the consumer behavior to reduce how much ends up in your bin.
There was an inspiring display of passionate individuals and groups on Saturday, including:
· The Boomerang Bags Eurobodalla Group who host regular sewing bees; upcycling donated fabrics into the funkiest of bags as an alternative to plastic bags
· Stacey from South Coast Essential Earth makes her own toxic free and planet friendly products like beeswax food wraps to get avoid cling-wrap
· The Carols College Young Legends are, as the name suggests, a legendary group of high-school students translating their passion into action to make greener practices more achievable
· The South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program is a strong collective of over 100 volunteers working across the Bay to reduce the decline of threatened shorebirds
· The Nature Coast Marine Group is a community organisation working to protect all aspects of the marine environment
So, there is definitely no shortage of avenues to get active in Eurobodalla. Wherever you are in Australia, there’s most likely someone or something happening that you can contribute your passion too, just have a look!
A big shout out to Eurobodalla Shire for supporting the Scavenge to hit the South Coast and Mayor Liz Innes for opening the event with an acknowledgment of country of which the Katungal people have looked after for hundreds and thousands of years.
We were very appreciative of the spread of local businesses who took this as opportunity to do their bit and avoid certain single-use plastics for the day:
1. Ambers Café – 50c discount for BYO Cup
2. Michel's Patisserie – No Bags
3. Starfish Deli – No Straws
4. The Venetian Boutique Coffee Roasters – 50c discount for BYOCup
5. Sams Pizzeria – No bags, no straws
6. Priceline Batemans – No Bags
7. Innes Boatshed – No Straws
8. Kohli's Indian Restaurant - No Straws
To the businesses that donated prizes, the musicians who performed and all the people that came out, thank you! The swell of change is upon us thanks to the commitment of engaged individuals like yourselves.