Mick Manley at Cabarita beach with some of the rubbish he collected.
Mick Manley at Cabarita beach with some of the rubbish he collected. John Gass

Cudgen Creek's dirty shame

THREE-thousand five-hundred and ten items of rubbish were removed from Cudgen Creek between November 2010 and December last year.

Separate to this unfortunate total was 717m of fishing line.

Watersports Guru Kingscliff employees removed the items they could not ignore as they depend on the creek's quality for their livelihood.

Employee Lee Sargent said recording the trash was suggested by marine science student Mick Manley.

"It was just in a 2km stretch," Ms Sargent said.

"It tends to come from stormwater drains but a lot is dumped by people using the shoreline.

"There's a lot of unfiltered drains."

She said Watersports' owner Tim Jack-Adams had met with the council and agreed on a section in which the business would keep clean.

"Personally I just do it when the water's not too cold.

"Seriously though, after paddling in the creek for two years I became appalled at the amount of plastic rubbish in the creek and decided to do something about it."

Mr Manley said he found the huge bunch of fishing line, pictured, at Cabarita Beach.

"I was just spearfishing then decided to stop and clean up because I saw some plastic bags in the water.

"Then I noticed all this fishing line all aggregated together with hooks and sinkers.

"We've been using the ocean and waterways as a sink for waste for too long."

He said an "integrated approach" would be needed to reduce the amount of waste flowing into our creeks and rivers.

"Education's the main factor.

"We need to somehow substitute all the plastic bags for reusables, educate kids and simply think about our behaviour."

 

Rubbish collected from Cudgen Creek during about 14 months:

  • 466 shopping bags;
  • 54 zip lock bags;
  • 35 thick plastic ice bags;
  • 709 beer bottles;
  • 90 Vodka Cruiser bottles;
  • 340 aluminium cans;
  • 195 plastic water and Coke bottles;
  • 26 plastic Slurpee cups;
  • 227 plastic straws;
  • 119 foil and plastic chip packets;
  • 39 Tetra milk and juice containers;
  • 154 plastic bottle caps;
  • 717m of fishing line;
  • 274 plastic bait bags;
  • 42 fishing lures and hooks;
  • 9 broken fishing rods;
  • 152 thongs and shoes;
  • 90 plastic cigarette lighters;
  • 42 tennis balls;
  • 20 plastic lattice sapling guards;
  • 20 disposable baby nappies;
  • 10 old crab pot nets;
  • 397 confectionary wrappers;
  • 69 items from the ocean.


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