The much-loved Port Kembla Beach will be the scene of Wollongong City Council’s 16th annual beach clean-up on Sunday.
The council is calling on residents to join with more than 10 community groups who have signed up to help clear the beach of litter and debris.
From 3pm-5pm on Sunday volunteers will be combing the beach picking up rubbish from areas including the rock platforms that lead to Honeycomb Rocks below Hill 60.
A report released this week showed that Wollongong beaches were all rated good to very good for water quality and swimmability, with Port in the “good” category.
And State Government figures showed that generally littering was improving across the state, but there were still problems with cigarette butts being thrown away. They account for about one-third of all litter items.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery called on any members of the community who could spare some time come Sunday to head down to Port Kembla beach and lend a hand.
“I encourage our community to get involved and support the beach clean-up at Port Kembla and extend my thanks to the many volunteer groups who have already signed up,” he said.
Cr Bradbery said in 2012, the number of marine debris items recorded in the Australian marine debris database exceeded 1.4 million.
“This is a massive amount of plastic debris being swallowed up by our marine life,” he said.
The day will include fun activities for kids, prizes and a free barbecue. Everyone is welcome to participate.
The clean-up is being run in conjunction with the PicItUp program supported by the NSW Environment Protection Authority and the Australian Packaging Covenant, a sustainable packaging initiative which includes more than 900 organisations and companies involved in packaging.
PicItUp aims to encourage people to pick up litter on their daily walks and take a picture of it using their phone to collect data that will be collated nationally.
Local councils offer ‘PicItUp kits” to residents, containing gloves, hand sanitizer and a collection bag. Citizens are encouraged to record what they collect by taking photographs of it to enable a picture of litter and its causes to be built up regionally.
If any residents are concerned that the title ‘PicItUp’ may have dropped a ‘k’ and not picked it up, they can rest assured that this is in fact the correct spelling for the initiative and there are not any beaches littered with the letter k.
For more information you can contact council on 4227 7111 or visit its website.