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I went down to Steel Park for the Cooks River Valley Association Cash for Containers event at lunchtime today. It was a beautiful day & also a beautiful place to have an event – on the bank of the Cooks River walking among the fallen leaves from the Poplar trees that define this park. I love dappled shade & for some reason, it makes me feel good.
Lots of people attended & happy kids with homemade fishing lines were fishing for strings of bottles floating in the Cooks River. It was a relaxed atmosphere with people coming for a while before moving on. Three gigantic Coke bottles were also floating in the river sending a powerful message not easy to ignore. While I was there the tide changed so we had the usual stream of floating plastic drink bottles floating past. It would be great not to have plastic bottles polluting the river one day soon.
Many aluminum cans were exchanged for a 10-cent refund per can so there are likely to be some happy kids who got a pocket money bonus this week. I thought it was very good for other park users to see a community group putting on an event that addresses litter that both pollutes the environment & the Cooks River itself.
Unfortunately I missed Captain Cook in full dress arrive at Steel Park by boat & greet the federal Environment Minister Tony Burke. The media attended & I just watched a good segment on the event on ABC1 News.
There were stalls, petitions to sign & information to take away. Volunteers had spent a great deal of time stringing plastic bottles together to make signs. These looked terrific glinting in the sun.
One family had made a boat out of plastic bottles, onion bags & plastic bread trays. This was successfully launched on the river with a brave woman aboard.
The Cooks River Valley Association did well & created a relaxed, fun event that provided education to those who attended & those who were passing by. It’s not easy to make litter something to which people want to pay attention.
Some facts about the benefits of a Cash for Containers program from literature I picked up today. It will -
- “Reduce the amount of litter found in streets & parks & waterways by almost 20% (by volume)
- Increase the recycling of bottles & cans by over 650,000 tonnes per annum
- A saving of over $32 million in current local government waste & recycling services
- Reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.3 million tones of CO2 per annum
- Reduce landfill waste by 6%”
State & federal environment ministers are due to meet mid-year to decide on a National Container Deposit Scheme. You can help the campaign by going to the Cooks River Valley Association –
www.crva.org <– Sorry, this link doesn’t work, this one does –> http://www.crva.org.au/ NOTE 25th may 2012: See comment below by Judy Pincus about going to the Boomerang Alliance website instead of the Cooks River Valley Association. Thanks J
“Australians consume drinks in over 12 billion containers a year. Only half of these are recycled, mostly collected via kerbside & much less, away from home (food halls, events, public spaces). The other half are littered or landfilled representing a big waste of resources. A CDS (Container Deposit Scheme) has been proven worldwide to be the best way to increase collection & recycling. South Australia has had a CDS for over 30 years & now the Northern Territory will have one in 2011. It would increase recovery to 80% – over 4 billion extra containers a year.” ~ Boomerang Alliance
We all know that litter in the Cooks River is a massive problem that is impacting on the health of the river & the wildlife that live here.
Local community group the Cooks River Valley Association (CRVA), along with the Total Environment Centre are doing something about this problem. They have organized a great event to highlight the litter along the Cooks River & also to lobby the Environment Ministers to support a nationwide packaging regulation. The regulation will include a Container Deposit Scheme that gives a 10-cent refund on each returned drink bottle & aluminum can. The Environment Ministers will be making a decision about the regulation in June 2012 so now is the time to tell them what we want.
The Ca$h-for-Containers event is supported by both Marrickville Council & the City of Canterbury Council & will be held on –
- Saturday 28th April 2012
- 11am – 2pm
- Steel Park, Illawarra Road Marrickville South
Activities include –
- World’s Biggest Coke Float
- Bev the Bottle
- Put a message in a bottle for the Environment Ministers
- Information & petitions to sign
- Free food & drink – you will need to bring your own reusable cup & plate.
- Prizes for the best model plastic bottle boats. CRVA are asking that you make one at home & bring it along on the day.
- Please start collecting plastic & aluminum beverage bottles & cans & bring them along to the Cooks River Demonstration Recycling Depot at Steel Park to collect your 10-cent cash refunds to experience how the Container Deposit Scheme will work. Let’s create a Cooks Mountain of bottles!
Containers collected at this event & other events, as well as the best of the model plastic bottle boats, will be taken to Canberra for a rally at Parliament House on 23 May 2012. The boats will be sailed on Lake Burley Griffin or on the lawn of Parliament House.
You can find out more about the Container Deposit Scheme at the Boomerang Alliance website here - www.boomerangalliance.org.au You can send an e-letter to Tony Burke, Minister for the Environment here - http://bit.ly/I7Md0P
You can also watch this fabulous video talking about the campaign & showing our Cooks River & the plastic bottle pollution here – http://bit.ly/uUMGx0
If you are interested in helping prepare & promote this event as well as helping on the day please contact Judy - email@example.com 0414 910 816