Scattered all over the huge area of playing fields at Tempe Reserve are plastic drinking bottles left behind by players after the game has finished. This happens after every game.

Twenty bottles & a cigarette packet – this is only one pile of plastic drink bottles left on the side of one field on the playing fields of Tempe Reserve.  There were many other plastic bottles strewn elsewhere on the playing fields & this happens all the time.  What is it with this park that people trash it so much?

The plastic bag that contained one of the players uniform was being blown towards the Alexandra Canal only metres away.

I even chased a massive plastic bag rolling across the playing fields that had contained the uniform of one of the players.    Within 3 minutes at the most, this bag would have been in the Alexandra Canal starting a journey of destruction.

I don’t understand why the players do this. I also don’t think it is the job of Marrickville Council staff to pick up the vast amounts of litter left behind after each game – unless of course, this service comes as part of the hiring fees – which I doubt.

Next stop on our bike ride was Mackey Park, which is always left spotless by the clubs.  Mackey Park gets just as much use by the clubs as do the playing fields of Tempe Reserve.

As fate would have it, I crossed paths with one of the managers of the Canterbury & Western Suburbs Cricket Association.  He kindly answered a number of my questions telling me that the Club ensures that all the Club Secretaries & the Captains know to tell all players (7yrs – adult) that they must clean up after themselves & leave no litter behind.  Leaving a mess behind may affect the Club’s ability to hire the park in the future.  Cleaning up after oneself is seen as mandatory for being a member & the Clubs reinforce this message with their players often.

I commend the Canterbury & Western Suburbs Cricket Association for this as they leave the park spotless for the community & for the wildlife that use Mackey Park.

The soccer clubs that use Mackey Park at nights & on weekends do not leave litter behind either.  So what is happening with the Clubs that use Tempe Reserve?

It’s a terrible message to give young people that they can simply leave their garbage behind when it has such a negative impact on the environment, especially with the river so close.  The players need to respect the park & use one of the numerous garbage bins provided by Council or take their garbage home.

Maybe Marrickville Council should think about intervening.  One idea is to oblige clubs to read out a short message about respect to the environment to players before each game & the Captains required to ensure all litter is removed before anyone leaves.

This was Mackey Park today just as the cricket players were leaving. Zero litter was left behind.

This is what we all should be doing with the environment – sporting clubs included.  I can’t credit the photo as I don’t know its source.