Tokyo Olympic silver medallist and proud First Nations beach volleyballer, Taliqua Clancy, is the official ambassador for the Wave of Change program, a joint environmental education program between Containers for Change and Plastic Oceans Australasia.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon has welcomed Ms Clancy’s involvement in the program.
“We know that Taliqua is a winner on the court and is a passionate supporter of clean oceans and beaches – her strong connection to young Queenslanders makes her perfect for this role as we go for gold in cleaning up and protecting our beaches and environment,” Minister Scanlon said.
“In partnership with Plastic Oceans Australasia – Containers for Change will deliver primary school curriculum modules on plastic reduction and pollution to 300 primary schools in 2022.
“The program will also support schools’ container recycling fundraising efforts by providing collection infrastructure and resources that maximise containers collected and refunds received.”
Taliqua Clancy said the program would drive change by influencing students’ daily habits and inspiring others to join them.
“Playing volleyball on beaches around the world has made me passionate about keeping them, and our oceans, free of plastic and waste so that we can all enjoy them,” Ms Clancy said.
“Sharing storylines about our environment is so important for the future sustainability of our beaches, beautiful coastline, and waterways in Queensland and I am excited to share my passion for the environment with tomorrow’s generation of Queenslanders.”
The Wave of Change program encourages schools to be focussed on building awareness of plastic pollution and participating in Containers for Change and will provide schools with bags and bins for containers, connection to operators who can collect recyclables and a federally approved curriculum ready to go.
Education Minister Grace Grace said Queensland school students were more environmentally aware than any previous generation.
“I have no doubt the Waves of Change program will be incredibly successful because our students care about the damage plastic waste and other pollutants can do to Queensland’s unique ecosystem,” Minister Grace said.
“This program will provide the skills to back up the enthusiasm they already have for protecting the environment.”
Executive Director of Plastic Oceans Australasia Ricki Hersburgh said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the Containers for Change scheme and know that initiatives such as these demonstrate the importance of long-term systemic change.
“Our comprehensive educational school resources will help young people understand the dire impacts of plastic in the natural environment for wildlife and human alike, which is vital in reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans in future generations.”
Five billion containers have now been recycled since Containers for Change was introduced in Queensland with nearly 800 full time equivalent jobs created.