How a pandemic impacts marine debris…
Posted on July 21st, 2020
The three towns of Rockhampton, Gladstone and Yeppoon have experienced mixed results when considering the impact of a global pandemic upon marine debris.
The closure of pubs, venues and a nation-wide lockdown have recorded little difference in overall weight of litter retrieved from 27 CBD drains.
In Yeppoon: The most recent audit, carried out in May 2020, has recorded a total of 58 kilograms, a 34% reduction since February. However, these recent figures have increased 41% since November 2019, and are 55% more than in September 2019.
In Gladstone: The most recent audit, carried out in May 2020, has recorded a total of 51 kilograms, a 38% reduction since February.
In Rockhampton: The most recent audit, carried out in May 2020, has recorded a total of 64 kilograms, a 20% reduction since February. However, these recent figures have still recorded an increase of 29% compared to the audit in September 2019.
A Drain Buddy is a heavy-duty basket placed in stormwater drains to collect matter including litter, organic matter and sediment. In Rockhampton, nine baskets were installed in mid-2019, thanks to a Local Action Community Reef Protection grant, funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
The project aims to address and provoke a change in human behaviour.
In Yeppoon, a strategy has been rolled out in the oceanside town to eliminate straws as a predominant litter source. Since the project’s conception, 183 straws have been recovered from Yeppoon drains. That equates to 15 straws a week! 46 straws and 23 straw wrappers were recovered in the period since COVID-19 began.
In Rockhampton, a strategy has been rolled out in the beef capital to reduce cigarette butts, the leading form of litter, with help from Rockhampton Regional Council and Capricornia Catchments. Since the project’s conception, 2,993 cigarette butts have been recovered from Rockhampton drains. That equates to 57 cigarettes a week! 543 cigarette butts were recovered in the period since COVID-19 began.
In Gladstone, a strategy has been rolled out in the harbour city to reduce plastic lined sugar sachets, with help from The Coffee Club, Grand Hotel. Since the project’s conception, there has been a 100% reduction in the appearance of plastic lined sugar sachets in Gladstone drains! 130 plastic lined sugar sachets have been recovered from Gladstone CBD drains over the past 12 months, with the latest data revealing this number has dramatically reduced to ZERO!
Across the three towns, willing projects partners have demonstrated a huge willingness to reduce their footprint and make an environmental difference. These partners include The Coffee Club, Grand Hotel, Keppel Bay Ice Cream Cafe, Food for Thought, The Citrus Club and The Strand Hotel.
If you are a Rockhampton business located in the CBD interested in installing a butt bin at ypour location OR
If you are a Yeppoon business located in the CBD wishing to stock environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic straws; OR
If you are a Gladstone CBD venue interested in reducing your environmental footprint – contact FBA today by email: