Each year Sydney Water removes more than 1 million plastic bottles from waterways in the Illawarra and Greater Sydney. And with summer set to attract thousands of beach goers Saturday's clean up at North Beach was a timely reminder of the importance of keeping waterways plastic and litter free.
The Surfrider Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preserving our oceans and encourages the community to come and join in regular clean-ups to remove plastic and waste. It also wants to raise awareness about the impact of plastics on our beaches, oceans and waterways.
Coastal crusader Susie Crick said there is so much plastic and other waste in the ocean now it is washing ashore all the time and impacting marine life around the globe.
Ms Crick said unfortunately no amount of clean ups will remove it all and the best way to minimise the problem is to stop producing and using plastic. She said the more awareness that is raised about how significant the global problem has become the sooner something will be done.
Oden Prior, of Thirroul, was at North Beach on Saturday with other members of Junkyard Beats to provide entertainment and motivational music on instruments made of recycled waste. "We like creating music out of every day objects, educating people about creative recycling and having fun while supporting events like this We would like to encourage people to pick up plastic".
Each year Sydney Water opens applications to its Beat the Bottle program and awards $2000 grants to 14 grassroots organisations to help them run clean up events over summer to tackle the issue of plastic waste and help keep beaches and waterways clean.
Sydney Water spokesperson Katya Koch said it was exciting to kick off the first of a series of Beat the Bottle events around Sydney at North Wollongong Beach.
"We're committed to helping keep our environment and waterways clean and it's great to see local communities support this cause".