Campaign encourages community to ‘Ditch the Flick’
THE Gladstone region will become a little cleaner as the Tangaroa Blue Foundation rolls out ReefClean campaigns in a bid to help reduce single-use plastic littler.
Foundation chief executive Heidi Tait said the campaigns would help prevent and remove marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef.
"From coffee cup lids and cigarette butts to public space litter, with so many single-use plastic items continuing to find their way into our oceans and waterways, we need community support to help turn the tide more than ever," Ms Tait said.
"We really need to look at how we stop this stuff from entering the environment in the first place."
Gladstone locals will be able to join three of the ReefClean campaigns.
The Lose Ya Lid campaign encourages people to say no to single-use plastic cup lids at The Junction and T3 cafes.
Ditch the Flick encourages smokers to bin their cigarette butts instead of flicking them on Goondoon St.
"It also addresses a bit of a knowledge gap because apparently there's a lot of people that don't realise cigarette butts are made of plastic," Ms Tait said.
She said people thinking the butts were biodegradable or not harmful to the environment might be a reason they choose not to dispose of them properly.
"If you understand it is a plastic item and takes decades to break down but never really goes away, people might change their behaviour and how they dispose of cigarette butts," she said.
At Bray Park in Boyne Island, Tangaroa Blue has worked with Gladstone Regional Council on the Litter Heroes campaign, installing signage directing people to the nearest bin.
"We hope it will encourage people to use those bins instead of littering," Ms Tait said.
The campaigns come following five public digital workshops held last month focusing on key items of litter that are impacting the Great Barrier Reef and are designed to help reduce litter and drive behaviour change.
"Although COVID-19 has changed the way we usually deliver clean-ups around the reef, it has also given us an opportunity to develop digital assets that the Gladstone community can tap into," Ms Tait said.
"From rejecting the barista's offer of a single-use plastic coffee cup lid with a 'flat no' to ditching the cigarette butt flick and being a litter hero, there's a lot you can do to stop the spread of litter around our waterways."
ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government's Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation
For more information and challenges, visit ReefClean on Facebook.