A mighty effort by Noosa clean up volunteers.
A mighty effort by Noosa clean up volunteers. Contributed

Clean up reveals plastic a big threat for Noosa River

NOOSA'S annual autumn clean has highlighted just how big a problem plastic is to the local Biosphere.

About 400 volunteers turned out in force collecting five tonnes of waste at 24 sites for Clean up Australia Sunday March in another huge effort organised once again by the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association.

NICA volunteer Peter Hunnam worked with total of 40 volunteers from Tewantin BushCare Group, Tewantin State School students and families, NICA River Rangers and others who registered at the Tewantin boat ramp site to undertake an audit of their findings.

Mr Hunnam said the "litter in the lower Noosa River remains a significant problem, despite the preventative and clean-up actions that are being taken".

"The significant problem now is the very large numbers of diverse types of small plastic items that get into the river system."

The CUAD 2019 audit at Tewantin boat ramp recorded conservatively more than 1600 plastic items, 74 per cent of the total number of rubbish items collected from the Tewantin foreshore of the Noosa River.

Volunteers jumped into boats and vehicles, or walked the lengths and breadths of Noosa's bushland, parkland, road reserves, and once again illegal dumping was a major concern. The data collected from all the Noosa CUAD groups recorded that four tonnes of illegal dumping removed from local forests and one tonne of litter from the river, wetlands, parks and streets, morwe than 300 kgs of which was diverted from landfill and recycled.

Volunteer co-ordinator councillor Joe Jurisevic, NICA manager Gill Studdock and the 24 dedicated NICA site supervisors were heartened by the community turning out. Cr Jurisevic said illegal dump sites were once again a major focus this year with the bushland still being used by some as a 'free' alternative to council facilities where regularly dumped items such as white goods can be disposed of at no cost for saleable items donated to the Reviva recycled goods shop.

"It was disappointing to see a large number of tyres being still being found dumped in our bushland, but fortunately only a few mattresses this year.”

The volunteers were ably supported by Noosa Council, as well as local businesses Cleanaway and Allcott Hire to help dispose of the rubbish, with Sofitel and Peppers Noosa Resorts providing generous prizes for a prize draw for volunteers.

Noosa Sea Scouts again were involved along with Sunshine Coast 4WD Club, whose members were largely responsible for removing dumped rubbish from sites in Yurol Forest.