More than 90 members of the Somerset community volunteered their time to collect rubbish from around the College grounds, as part of the annual Clean Up Australia Day, 1 March. In doing so, they joined hundreds of thousands of others, who participated in the nation's largest community-based environmental event.
Clean Up Australia Day was the inspiration of solo yachtsman Ian Kiernan, who was shocked by the amount of rubbish he saw floating in the world’s oceans. Since the first national event in 1990, there has been growing global awareness about plastic pollution and its effects on wildlife, particularly turtles, marine mammals and seabirds. Scientists estimate that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently littering the oceans.
Solving the problem will require international collaboration both to close the source and remove what has already accumulated. This will include improving waste management practices to prevent plastic from entering the ocean and also banning single-use plastic products such as bags, bottles, straws and cups.
Later this year, the ambitious Ocean Cleanup Project will transport the first of 50 floating clean-up systems to the North Pacific Ocean. If successful, half of the huge collection of marine debris known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch could be cleared within five years.
There’s so much we can all do to make a difference, so join the Somerset Sustainable Spartans Committee today.
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