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Students join war on waste

Posted: 9am 14 Apr 2021

Queensland Youth Week runs until April 18. It’s a chance to celebrate young people in our community making a difference and to shine a light on what we can do to support those in need.

At Clontarf Beach State High School, students are passionate about the environment, and have joined the 100-day Love our Clontarf litter reduction campaign.

Run by Pristine Peninsula, the bold program targets a 2km radius of the Snook and King streets intersection, Elizabeth Ave, and Frawley Fields precinct, where rubbish such as fast-food wrappers and cigarette butts lands.

With the campaign designed to clean up the area and raise awareness about the impact of littering, Love our Clontarf waste warriors have already collected more than 10,000 pieces of rubbish, including more than 2000 cigarette butts.

Children the future

Pristine Peninsula founder Les Barkla says he is delighted the school has joined the campaign.

“To me, it all starts with kids,” Les says.

“It’s kids who are 100 percent of the future so we have to work with them to understand the consequences of litter and take a circular economy approach.”

Teacher Maureen McVey says not only is joining the program allowing students to give back to the community, it is boosting the activities of the school’s Environmental Action Group.

“From the school’s perspective, the big thing we want to do is engage with the community,” she says.

Making a difference

The school has installed four Redcycle containers for recycling scrunchable plastic and Les says they have made a remarkable difference.

Between January 29 and March 19, 901 items were put in the bins and 71 percent of them will be taken to Replas.

Replas makes park furniture such as bollards, fitness trails, benches, picnic tables and seats from the waste, which would otherwise go to landfill.

New seating

“A further 80 items were recycled - drink containers going into the Containers for Change scheme, with $7.40 contributed to Moreton Bay Koala Rescue,” Les says.

“So, a total of 726 items – 80 percent - of the 901 items were diverted from landfill – a great result.”

Les says about 7700 pieces of plastic are needed to make a 1.8m bench.

“Clontarf Beach State High School actually already has benches made from recycled plastics and I am looking for business sponsors to cover the cost of another bench if we reach that target.”

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