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Tasmania needs to act to clean up it's waterways

Media Release - 31 January 2012

Tasmania is renowned for its pristine wilderness, rivers, creeks and coastline so it comes as a big surprise to find that over half the rubbish removed from Tasmania by Clean Up Australia Day volunteers in 2011 came from its waterways. The most polluted sites in the state were rivers and creeks with 30% and beach and coastal sites with 29% of the total waste surveyed.

The 2011 Rubbish Report has highlighted some alarming facts about the state of pollution in Tasmania. More plastic bottles were removed than any other rubbish item making up 26% of the percentage of total waste surveyed. However on a more positive note the state was one of only three that did not feature cigarette butts in the number one spot.

Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up Australia Day, spoke about the findings; “Tasmania has some of the most beautiful waterways in Australia. It’s such a shame to see them fall victim to rubbishing, creating an eyesore for humans and endangering wildlife.”

“It is also extremely worrying to see plastic bottles topping the list of rubbish items when a viable solution that will increase recycling rates from an average of 35% to over 75% is staring us in the face.”

“These plastic bottles have a value – but until we have an incentive such as a container refund scheme they will continue to be considered as rubbish.”

“I urge all Tasmanians to say enough is enough, and join a winning team on Sunday 4 March to Clean Up Australia”

Last year an estimated 22,620 volunteers removed around 649 tonnes of rubbish across 295 registered sites in Tasmania. The hard work put in by the volunteers during the event was extremely impressive nd exhibited the pride that Tasmanians have in their shared spaces.

Tasmania was one of only three states where cigarette butts did not hold the number one spot in 2011. Ian Kiernan applauds Tasmanian residents; “While there are still some lessons to be learnt with how we dispose of our rubbish, the residents and visitors to Tasmania seem to be more responsible in disposing heir cigarette butts than the rest of the country.”

“Our 2011 Rubbish Report highlights the amazing achievement of all our Clean Up Australia Day volunteers. They do a fantastic job of cleaning up their own local areas. We want every person in asmania to register for the Clean Up effort and show the rest of the nation how this wonderful island state can lead by example.”

“Over the last 22 years an estimated 237,500 tonnes of rubbish have been removed from our environment. But with every Australian still producing approximately 2 tonnes of garbage a year, we still ave a long way to go. We are a resilient nation and through community effort we can preserve our
landscapes and oceans. It is vital that volunteers continue their great effort by joining the team and registering to clean up.”

WHAT: Australia’s largest community participation event. Get a group together and register your chosen Clean Up Site online.
WHEN: Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 4 March; Business Clean Up Day – Tuesday 28 February; Schools Clean Up Day – Friday 2 March
WHERE: Your local park, waterway, school, beach or street.
WHO: Everyone is welcome – friends, family, kids, community groups, work colleagues or anyone else.
HOW: Register for Clean Up Australia Day now at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au or call 1800 CUA DAY for more information.


For any further media information or an interview, please contact Tracey Wigg, Gaia Communications on 0419 141 266 Email: tawigg@bigpond.com