Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch encouraged Queenslanders to roll up their sleeves to celebrate 30 years of Clean Up Australia Day, as she joined the Bayview Scouts Group to clean up litter at Pezzuti Park in Cairns.
Ms Enoch said that it is a significant day for Queenslanders to consider their use of single-use plastics, including straws, cutlery and plates.
“Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away, resulting in less than one-fifth of all plastic being recycled globally.
“It is time we tackle this toxic pollutant which is so destructive to our waterways, marine life, and native flora and fauna,” Ms Enoch said.
Ms Enoch said 75% of marine debris found along the Queensland coastline is plastic waste.
For the past 30 years of Clean Up Australia Day events, straws have been consistently identified as a major component of the rubbish collected, and is in fact the 12th most common item.
Bayview Scouts Group Leader Kevin Savage said the Scouting movement was heavily focused on reducing the amount of plastic waste ending up in the environment.
“We encourage our youth members to connect with nature, to think about how we interact with the environment and take action to protect it,” Mr Savage said.
“Environmental issues are one of our top five concerns and we welcome the Minister and her message of reducing single-use plastics in Queensland,” he said.
Minister Enoch encouraged all Queenslanders to continue the vital work of Clean Up Australia Day throughout the year.
“This 30th year of Clean Up Australia Day is a great opportunity for everyone to join together and remove all kinds of litter from our environment including single use plastics.
“Last year over 91,000 people volunteered throughout Queensland removing more than 3 tonnes of rubbish from our beaches, parks, roadsides and natural areas.
“We all love Queensland, so let’s work together to keep it clean.” Minister Enoch said.