Bundaberg Region residents are being urged to roll up their sleeves and get out the gloves in preparation for Clean Up Australia Day 2021.
Registrations for the nation's largest community-based environmental event are open, with the official Clean Up Australia Day to be held on Sunday, 7 March.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said there had never been a better time to tackle the surge in single-use disposable items and plastics.
“Items such as takeaway coffee cups, food packaging and all sorts of plastics are what pollute our local parks, bushland, streets, waterways and beaches,” he said.
“Our beautiful Bundaberg Region is surrounded by such a flourishing environment and, as we are the start of the Great Barrier Reef, making sure our region is clean is so important to our ocean and its inhabitants, such as our thriving turtle population.
“Clean Up Australia Day is the perfect event to participate in to help protect and conserve our local environment.”
Waste and Recycling Portfolio Spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said Council can provide support to registered participants of Clean Up Australia Day.
“Our Waste and Recycling team can offer assistance in the disposal of waste and can supply gloves and bags if requested,” she said.
“We ask participants of Clean Up Australia Day to please be mindful of sharps and sharp objects, remember sun safety and make sure to wear protective gear when applicable.”
Ahead of Clean Up Australia Day 2021, Cr McLoughlin said residents were also asked to consider recycling options when cleaning rubbish around the region.
“Recycling is such an important part of keeping our environment healthy so we are asking residents to please remember to separate recyclable items,” she said.
“These items include paper, cardboard, plastic and glass- such as bottles and jars- steel and aluminium cans.”
COVID impacts waste production
According to Clean Up Australia Chairman Pip Kiernan, research has revealed more than 1 in 3 Australian households self-identified as producing more packaging waste during lockdown periods compared to previous years.
More than 1 in 2 reported they were now more concerned about product packaging waste than they were in 2019.
Ms Kiernan said now was the perfect time for all Australians to Step Up to Clean Up.
“This year has seen disruption to our lives, not least of all to our local environments which have been impacted by increased uptake of single-use, disposable items” she said.
“We know Australians everywhere are itching to get involved and now is their chance to officially register interest for the next Clean Up Australia Day.
“By planning ahead and signing up to a Clean Up event, you are making a pledge to help conserve the environment for the long-term future, and taking an important action by stepping up for your community.”
If you can’t join a Clean Up, Ms Kiernan said residents could instead make a donation to Clean Up Australia.
“100% of funds raised through donations are allocated to the provision of educational resources and clean up materials provided free of charge to community, school and youth groups across the nation, all year round,” she said.
To register for Clean Up Australia Day 2021, sign up to a Clean Up or donate, please visit cleanup.org.au.