On the 5th of October, 2016, the Year 9 Environmental Sciences classes met up at Bonbeach. Despite the cold weather, everyone got out of their homes and arrived on time to help put in an effort to clean up the beach.
Along with Mrs Bonham and Mrs Ball, we set off from Bonbeach train station and headed towards Chelsea train station. Our bodies soon warmed up as we got to work – it was shocking to find that the ‘clean-looking’ beach actually had rubbish littered everywhere. We picked up countless cigarette butts and bottle caps in the sand, some of which originated from other places and was brought down to the beach.
In the dunes, we found heaps of plastic bottles, food packaging, beer bottles, and soft drink cans. These were often hidden inside bushes, and were difficult to notice and dispose of. There were also many pieces of plastic, which are a big danger to birds and fish that see them as food and eat it, or get caught up in it. Sadly, although we tried our hardest clear away any rubbish we came across, these pieces of litter still pose a threat to the wildlife.
Another danger we discovered were syringes and fishing hooks. These sharp objects are a danger to both humans and animals, and can cause injuries if they are stepped on. Luckily, we did not notice many syringes along the beach and any dangerous items were disposed of by Mrs Bonham.
An interesting part of the day was finding a mattress stuck inside a large bush. The springs were caught up in the branches, therefore it was extremely time-consuming to remove. Everyone was surprised and confused to find it there, after all, we expected to find small bits of rubbish, not a mattress!
We spent approximately three hours picking up rubbish, and although this sounds like a boring task, everyone had fun and enjoyed spending time at the beach with some friends. Between everyone’s hard work, we managed to pick up 188.5kg of rubbish. Unfortunately, there was also a large amount rubbish we missed or were unable to pick up. It is a shame to see so much litter down at the beach, and we hope that improvements can be made.
Year 9 Environmental Science student