The phone started ringing lunchtime on Saturday 13th April with reports from one of our local volunteers, horrified by the rubbish that she had discovered at Pretty Beach in Far North QLD while taking the dog for a walk!
Pretty Beach is a known location for outdoor raves and parties, but since the council had blocked off access to vehicles the rubbish situation had improved. Well until today that is!
A quick calll out through the Tangaroa Blue and Low Isles Preservation Society networks, and by 3pm a group of 7 volunteers had arrived on site as a marine debris response team to deal with the mess.
It only took an hour and Pretty Beach could live up to its name again, showing that a small effort can have a big impact on the health of our environment.
Out of the total of 25kg collected, most of the rubbish had been left behind by people camping and drinking with a large portion being in the vicinity of an erected tarp and scattered around a fire on the beach.
The data leaves no doubt as to what the culprits were doing there – 103 alumimium cans, 18 plastic drink bottles, 39 glass alcohol bottles, 17 cardboard packages including a heap from fast food outlets based in Cairns, 33 glowsticks, 39 cups and shot glasses, and then the really lovely stuff – 20 bits of used toliet paper, a nappy, a sanitary pad and a tampon.
It still amazes me that people go to the coast because it is a beautiful place to be, and then leave it in such a mess so the next people that come along can’t enjoy the place.
A huge thank you to Louise, Andy, Shackelton, Fraser, Lani, Evie and Julie for putting up their hands at the drop of a hat to clean up a beach when it really needed to be done – you guys are awesome!