ALL SET: Gavin Begbie and Maxine Goldsmith, of Woodburn, prepare to do some cleaning up around Airforce Beach, Evans Head, on Clean Up Australia Day.
ALL SET: Gavin Begbie and Maxine Goldsmith, of Woodburn, prepare to do some cleaning up around Airforce Beach, Evans Head, on Clean Up Australia Day. Samantha Elley

It’s clean-up time once again

PLASTIC is the curse of volunteers who get involved in Clean Up Australia Day each year, according to local co-ordinator Gavin Begbie.

"Bottles, bottle caps, bags and even a plastic chair we found once," he said listing what has been picked up in past years.

With partner Maxine Goldsmith, Mr Begbie is planning to walk Airforce Beach up to Salty Lagoon and clean up the rubbish at this year's Clean Up Australia Day on March 3.

"In past years we've found balloons, which are horrifying for the wildlife, and detergent bottles which must get thrown off passing ships," he said.

Ms Goldsmith said they had often picked up items with overseas labels.

"We've cleaned up containers all written in Japanese," she said.

As veterans of one of Australia's biggest community days, Mr Begbie and Ms Goldsmith have noticed a decline in the amount of rubbish they pick up each year.

"It used to be people would bring their food and wrappings to the beach and just leave it there," Ms Goldsmith said.

"That isn't the case now - people take it with them."

People interested in helping clean up Airforce Beach on Sunday, March 3, should gather at the Terrace St car park (start of the four-wheel-drive track) at 8.30am.

For further details or to register a group, contact Gavin Begbie on 0422 660 705.

Clean-up statistics

 In 2012 more than 591,400 volunteers across 7363 sites removed an estimated 16,346 tonnes of rubbish across Australia.

 80% of rubbish removed on Clean Up Australia Day is recyclable.

 Plastic is the most common type of material removed on Clean Up Australia Day.

 Since the beginning of the annual event in 25 million hours across 137,500 sites 272,500 tonnes of rubbish has been removed.



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