Clean up day to counter rubbish consequences
SCHOOL children across the Clarence Valley have already done their bit to help clean up the region, and tomorrow the baton will be passed on to the wider community.
At least nine local groups have already registered for Clean Up Australia Day, which encourages people across the nation to tackle the rubbish hotspots in their area for one day a year.
One of those is the Wooloweyah Landcare Group, which has been contributing to the clean-up for the past five years.
Organiser Carolyn Eddy said it was something members of the group do throughout the year anyway, but the day was still worth making a fuss about in order to prevent plastic from making it into the ocean.
"Every piece of plastic flying loose ends up in there eventually," she said.
"Within our landcare group, if you see rubbish you stop and pick it up. It's too hard to drive past."
And driving is when you see the most litter, she said, which is why tomorrow morning the group will set off from the corner of Lakes Blvd and Angourie Rd.
"There's so many litterbugs, you wouldn't believe," she said.
"Most of it here is on Angourie Rd and out to Green Point; the places that get a lot of (visitors).
"We really need the state government to spend more money and do more on advertising, and show people where it ends up. Education is everything."
Eatonsville-based anti-plastic crusader Bryan McGrath, who has taken on administration of the Highway Hippies Facebook page, said he was working on a number of initiatives to help reduce the amount of rubbish in the community including a school education package.
"Even though (Clean Up Australia Day) is a great idea, it is really only a drop in the ocean as far as pollution and litter issues go in our valley," he said.
"What I am attempting to do... now is organise a local group clean up every four to six weeks throughout the year.
"It would not only raise awareness, but take care of everything in a shorter amount of time. There's a long way from top of the valley to the beaches."
Mr McGrath also said some better legislation was needed to catch people littering, especially on roadways.
"I've had people see me pick up rubbish and drop something 20 metres away," he said.