400+ participants collect 840kg on the Peninsula
Sundays Rye Scavenge was a record breaker for the organisation. 406 people registered (145 more than last year); 66% (267 people) of whom had never attended a clean-up. This is a significant as this number has dropped from 90% in 2017 which shows the awareness is growing across the Peninsula.
The Rye Seaside Scavenge Chapter was incredibly touched by the support from the community and local businesses who supported with amazing prizes and commitment. Knock On Wood Espresso even closed shop for the day to run our Bike'n'Blend Smoothie stall!
Half a dozen store owners who could not be there on the day signed up for the Plastic Free Pledge. This was a commitment to avoid at least one single-use plastic item for that day, such as straws, takeaway coffee lids and more, all in the name of what the Scavenge stands for; conscious consumerism and zero-waste living.
Hundreds of Rye and peninsula locals showed up to partake, and it was so moving to hear that some people had driven their families from the northern suburbs of Melbourne to help clean-up 840kg of litter and 9,474 butts from Rye.
The data from the past four events has contributed to an Australia wide marine debris database and can now be used as a strong baseline for testing the effectiveness of future waste management and mitigation strategies across Australia. This is managed through the Australian Marine Debris Database and could not have been done so successfully without the ongoing support and management of the Scavenge sorting station by the amazing crew from Sea Shepherds Marine Debris Team.
It's speculation, but it is believed that most of the rubbish is left behind after a lovely day at the beach, rather than washed in from other areas. In some ways, this a great thing as we can work with the Mornington Peninsula Shire and local businesses to increase education through better bin signage and placement, as well as increase efforts on littering hotspots. The single most important aspect is to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic being handed out through food venues and asked for from customers.
The unity of extremely talented music, local business, and education through stalls and workshops by local green organisations leaves a buzz of inspiration in the air. It feels like the whole of Rye is talking the success of the day and we hope the community can continue riding this wave towards positive change and litter reduction on the peninsula.