EASTERN Shore residents rolled up their sleeves this month for the annual Clean Up Australia Day, pitching in to help the environment shake its COVID hangover.
The country’s largest community-based environmental day of action, Clean Up Australia Day
inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their local environment.
More than 19.5 million Australians have participated in a Clean Up activity over the past 30 years.
This year, dozens of Clean Up Australia Day events were held across Hobart on Clean Up Australia Day (6 March), Schools Clean Up Day (4 March) and Business Clean Up Day (1 March), with events from Risdon Vale to Ralphs Bay to Rokeby and on the Tranmere, Montagu Bay, Clifton Beach and Old Beach foreshores.
Lockdowns have fuelled a significant increase in household waste over the past two years, with unprecedented numbers of single-use plastics, food wrappers and face masks littering our footpaths, parks and beaches.
In 2020, more than three billion single-use masks were thrown out across the globe every day, contributing to a significant portion of pandemic-related litter entering the environment.
“The environment is still experiencing the impact of the pandemic,” Clean Up Australia chairman Pip Kiernan said.
“Our habits changed during COVID and most of these haven’t been kind on the environment. Surges in online shopping, meal delivery services and the use of disposable face masks and coffee cups, mean the environment is feeling the after-effects of the pandemic in ways not seen before.
“Clean Up Australia Day is the opportunity to do some good – to roll up our sleeves, get out there and take action.
“Together, we can make a meaningful, long-lasting difference to the parks, beaches, rivers and pathways near us.”
State Environment Minister Roger Jaensch said the Government is committed to reducing litter and increasing recycling, which is why it introduced the Container Refund Scheme Bill 2021 into Parliament late last year.
“Establishing Tasmania’s Container Refund Scheme will reduce beverage container litter and maximise recycling rates for these materials, creating jobs in our economy,” he said.
It’s not too late to make a donation at cleanup.org.au