Reef Benefiting From Restrictions

Reef Benefiting From Restrictions

The closure of pubs, venues and a nation-wide lockdown has had favourable impacts on the total amount of litter retrieved from nine drains in Gladstone’s CBD.

The most recent audit, carried out in May 2020, has recorded a total of 51 kilograms, a 38% reduction since February.

A Drain Buddy is a heavy-duty basket placed in stormwater drains to collect matter including litter, organic matter and sediment. In Gladstone, nine baskets were installed in mid-2019, thanks to a Local Action Community Reef Protection grant, funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

The project aims to address and provoke a change in human behaviour. In Gladstone, a strategy has been rolled out in the harbour city to reduce plastic-lined sugar sachets, with help from The Coffee Club, Grand Hotel.

Since the project’s conception, there has been a 100% reduction in the appearance of plastic-lined sugar sachets in Gladstone drains!

130 plastic lined sugar sachets have been recovered from Gladstone CBD drains over the past 12 months, with the latest data revealing this number has dramatically reduced to ZERO!

Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) Community Participation Officer Bethlea Bell was thrilled at the positive impact currently being experienced upon marine debris trends, with the latest data showing the least amount of litter retrieved over 12 months.

“As part of this project, we have installed signage and disposal bins at The Coffee Club, Grand Hotel and they’ve been outstanding to work with as project partners,” Bethlea said.

“A 100% reduction in sugar sachets in Gladstone is a better result than we could’ve ever imagined, it’s important now that Gladstone continues this trend as further restrictions continue to lift.

Sugar sachets are plastic lined and are non-biodegradable. The remnants of one sugar sachet will still exist in 100-years’ time.”