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A Closer Look at Neighbourhood Waste

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

I've been doing a bunch of cleanups with friends and family around my neighbourhood lately, and am constantly shocked by the crazy stuff we find in amongst our beautiful natural spaces. Today I thought I'd share some of my finds from a cleanup down at a local river with my sister.

It only took about 20 minutes for my sister and I to fill two bags. I was pretty heartbroken seeing my local rivers spoilt by plastic, especially considering it was already in a waterway and destined for the ocean.

Unfortunately, because we weren’t in our gumboots, there was some plastic that we just couldn’t possibly get to. It breaks my heart to have to walk away from litter like that, especially considering it’ll probably end up washed into our oceans to cause a whole world of extra harm, however we definitely had a good crack today and made a positive difference.

Can you spot the plastic?

Plastic bags filled the river, camouflaged among the rocks. Its almost becoming A PART of the environment :(

Argggghhhh those pesky masks! Covid has obviously seen a massive boom in single use masks, but there are alternatives to these nasty, blue, disposable ones that are destined for landfill… or worse! Shoutout to all those eco-warriors using reusable masks and staying covid-safe!

An unopened tub of aioli or something… this is definitely a first!

A handy reminder that plastic is a danger. (found under a rock in a river filled with marine life)

One of the saddest things is seeing our plastic taking over the habitats of our precious wildlife. Here, a family of snails have a discarded magnum wrapper for a home.

Erin spotted this toothbrush stuck under layers and layers of dirt and rubbish. Its head was barely poking out and she had a whole heap of trouble getting it out.

Ohhhhh the irony!!! A reusable SA Water bottle found in SA water! Designed to replace single-use plastic bottles and covered in messages like “BYOB”, standing for Bring Your Own Bottle, it seems like the absolute opposite of what it was designed for. Lets just hope it was a total accident that it ended up here!

Wanna find out how old that chip packet it? Check the expiry date. We're often totally shocked when many of the packets we find have been hanging around for like 10+ years. Just another reminder that plastic really never goes away!

A packet of Coles tasty cheese hanging in the river... thats a first!

Overall, we picked up (and responsibly disposed of) over 100 pieces of plastic and it only took around 20 minutes. Grab a friend, slip on some gloves and head for a walk around your neighbourhood with a bag in hand - it can make a huge difference and be a totally eye opening experience!

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