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And Some Scary Stats About Disposable Face Masks
  • Clean up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia day is just around the corner….and being traditionally held on the first Sunday in March, this year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, March 6.


The year of 2022 marks the 32nd Clean Up Australia day, a superb, not-for-profit initiative founded jointly by the late Ian Kiernan AO and Kim McKay AO.


The early success of Clean Up Australia day was such that just three years after its inauguration, over 30 million people from 80 countries participated in the first ever Clean Up The World event, in 1993.


The timing of Clean Up Australia day – our nation’s largest community event - is such that it hasn’t been impacted as greatly by COVID and lockdowns over the past two years as many other major occasions on the calendar.


In 2020, Clean Up Australia day was held before the commencement of any lockdowns in Australia and saw a massive 16,500 tonnes of rubbish collected by 661,345 volunteers who ‘stepped up’ to clean up a total of 7,175 local parks, waterways, beaches, roadways and bushland.


As many as one million concerned citizens will participant in Clean Up Australia day events this year.


While most health restrictions have been lifted throughout Australia, especially for outdoor events, participants are urged to abide by any regulations existing in their area.


Any potential volunteer suffering from the well-documented COVID symptoms or just generally feeling unwell are urged not to come.


As well as the traditional national clean up day on the Sunday, the big event is preceded as always by the Business Clean Up day and School Clean Up day on March 1 and March 4 respectively.


In addition to the three major Clean Up days, website cleanup.org.au lists a host of ways that average Australians are ‘doing their bit’ to keep our environment safe….and it’s food for thought for all of us:


  • Stop using plastic produce bags;
  • Stop using plastic water bottles;
  • Using only reusable bags when shopping;
  • Using reusable storage containers;
  • Growing fresh produce at home;
  • Using less water and electricity;
  • Recycling more through the ‘Return & Earn’ scheme;
  • Maintaining Australian native plants;
  • Recycling batteries;
  • Thinking before printing;
  • Riding pushbikes to work;
  • Picking up litter when going for walks; and


much, much more!!


An issue which has become huge throughout the world since the COVID pandemic (and Australian certainly isn’t immune to this, pun intended) is the irresponsible dumping of disposable face masks.


How is this for some scary stats revealed by the abc.net.au website:


  • Each minute of each day, as many as three million one-use face masks are thrown away around the globe.
  • As of mid-2021, a staggering 129 billion disposable masks are thrown into landfill around the world.
  • It takes up to 450 years for the plastic in disposable face masks to break down.


The number of face masks ending up in waterways including Sydney Harbour is also of grave concern and these items will no doubt be a major target of volunteers during the clean up.


Conservationists have warned that the world risks having more disposable masks in the oceans in the not too distant future than jellyfish!


British website openaccessgovernment.org reveals that around eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, joining the 150 million tonnes already in circulation there.


This bombardment of discarded masks – and you can also add items such as disposable gloves and hand sanitiser bottles – has continued unabated for two years now, adding to many other forms of day to day rubbish ruining ocean ecosystems.


Yes I Can Project Group is New South Wales’ fastest growing and most innovative building company, specialising in quality bathroom, kitchen and full home renovations in Sydney.


Director Richard Dargham recently praised the initiative that is Clean Up Australia week.


“The organisers of Clean Up Australia week should be congratulated on a campaign which year by year has continued to grow throughout our great nation,” Richard said.


“To think this initiative has now been going on for 32 years is fantastic and with up to a million volunteers helping out, it truly is an event that all Aussies can be proud of.”


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