Beach Clean Up Program

Community working together to clean up the beaches.

The Beach Clean Up Program commenced as a short trial in 2016/17 to address the issue of marine debris on our non-bathing reserves.

Our bathing reserves were being maintained using council's beach sweeper, but the community noticed an increase of waste on our other beaches. To address community concerns, Council established the Beach Clean Up Program.

The initial aims of the trial were to:

  • facilitate beach clean-up events across the Sunshine Coast through community engagement
  • develop skills within the community and encourage the community to take responsibility for keeping the region's beaches clean
  • collect data to feed into the Australian Marine Database (AMDI) to assist with planning and implementing source reduction projects.

The preliminary trial was considered a success, engaging with over 1450 participants, delivering 35 beach clean ups and collecting over 75,000 pieces of litter in 7 months.

This led to a three-year Beach Clean Up Program that commenced in July 2017.

The programs results for the last three financial years are:

  • In 2017/18 - 83 beach sites were clean with 1892 volunteers. Total weight of debris collected was 3867kg which equated to 107,884 pieces of litter
  • In 2018/19 - 94 beach sites were cleaned with 2826 volunteers. Total weight of debris collected was 2972kg and despite the reduction in weight there was an increase in the number of items collected to 148,040
  • In 2019/20 - 83 beach sites were cleaned with 2462 volunteers. Total weight of debris collected was 1892 kg consisting of 117,627 pieces of litter.
  • In 2020/21 – 91 beach sites were cleaned by 2948 volunteers. A total of 2101.5kg debris was removed which consisted of 94,154 pieces of litter.
  • In 2021/22 - 93 beach sites were cleaned by 3000 volunteers. A total of 1514 kg debris was removed which consisted of 61,000 pieces of litter.

Each year the number of volunteer participating in the program has increased. Although the total waste weights have decreased the number of individual pieces of litter continues to increase. The program has helped develop skills within our community which has seen a focus shift to smaller items such as micro-plastics.

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