Terrific boat made from plastic bottles. It was later successfully launched into the Cooks River.

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.

Garbage bags filled with cans & plastic bottle wait for Council to collect them.

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

Marrickville Mudcrab John Butcher manned one of the stalls

8 Billion Waste – A shocking 8 billion bottles & cans go into landfill or are littered every year.

Here is how you can help