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Chinese community rallies to ‘Clean Up’ Cronulla

A group of ocean-loving Chinese locals rallied together on Sunday to ‘Clean Up’ Cronulla Beach and promote the importance of rubbish-free oceans.

Coordinated by Greater Sydney Local Land Services as part of its Aquatic Champions program to encourage responsible boating and fishing practices in Sydney, the event saw about 20 Chinese residents collect rubbish and discuss the impacts of plastic litter on the aquatic environment with members of the Mandarin community visiting the beach.

Land Services Officer Linda Dedovic said the clean up event was just one example of the positive work the group has been doing since being trained about how individuals can minimise impacts on the aquatic environment when recreating near or on waterways.

“Our volunteers battled traffic delays and roadworks to be there on Sunday and their enthusiasm attracted a lot of attention from passers-by, which really helped promote the cause,” Ms Dedovic said.

“Research shows that people from non-English speaking backgrounds learn best from peers who speak their language and we want to help empower key community members to spread the word and ensure our waterways remain a place everyone can enjoy.

“Since the training, the group has appeared on radio, talked to Chinese students, attended festivals and conducted a clean up event near the Georges River.

"They are a passionate group who believe individuals can make a difference in helping protect our waterways, which are a hugely-valuable resource for our environment and way of life.”

Ms Dedovic said cigarette butts, plastic bottle lids and balloon remnants were the most common items collected from the beachfront on the day.

According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, almost 90 per cent of the marine debris found on Sydney’s beaches is mostly plastic bottles, caps and straws.

Plastic is often mistaken for food by seabirds and turtles. Throughout the world, around one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed every year by plastics, either entangled, strangled, choked or starved.


Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755