Australia Clean Up Day

Litter in our environment is at an all-time high thanks to covid-19

The 6th of March is Australia Clean Up Day and historically, household waste generation per capita has been gradually declining, but unfortunately, COVID-19 has reversed this trend. With the rise of covid, the increase of online shopping, take out containers and face masks have increased. It’s up to us to play our party and reverse this damage.

According to the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), the pandemic has seen household waste and recycling rise by 20% across Australia, particularly across inner-city areas. This year Cleanup Australia is asking volunteers to ‘Unmask the impact of the pandemic’. The facemasks will be counted to determine how many are collected from the environment.

As we know, litter in our environment has dire consequences on the environment and our wildlife. Since covid, there has been a shocking number of seabirds and wildlife found tangled up in single-use face masks. 

australia clean up of face masks

Every day in 2020, more than 3 billion single-use face masks were thrown out into the world’s environment. And with the masks being hard to break down they pose a serious threat to our whole eco-system. 

What and when is Clean-Up Day?

Clean Up Australia Day is a day to come together as a nation, to clean up and conserve our environment. This is also a great opportunity to inspire other Australians to fix up their rubbish habits. Started by just one man; Ian Kiernan. Ian was shocked to come across the amount of rubbish and pollution he found in the world. Taking matters into his own hands, Ian organised a community event with the support of friends. From there it’s only grown and now over 19 million Australians have participated as part of Clean Up Australia. 

Pip Kiernan Chair of Clean Up Australia said “Our environmental issues haven’t gone away because of COVID. In fact, they’ve escalated because of the mountain of rubbish that’s been created. That’s why we’re encouraging as many Aussies as we can to get involved. This Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday 6th of March this year.”

children helping cleanup australia

There’s still time to sign up officially on the website so you are registered or you can simply pick up a rubbish bag and start collecting rubbish. Or you can start today by stepping up to make a change in your environment. Take your own produce bags to the supermarket or use less water and electricity. Properly recycle your household rubbish, or pick up any rubbish you find. 

The amazing thing is that even one person can make a difference by removing one piece of litter. Everyone can participate and everyone can make a difference.

View this year’s campaign video here: 

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