Two guys, a boat and an ocean of plastic

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Tim Silverwood and Adrian Midwood, two avid environmentalists who are sailing from Brisbane to Sydney to raise awareness about the rubbish in our oceans and waterways.

Beneath the twin bridges over the Brisbane River, a team of locals collected more than 30kg of rubbish from a tiny mangrove site, then analysed it to see what makes up the flotsam in our river. The answer, in case you’re wondering, is thongs, fishing line, plastic bottles, pens, bottle caps, soft plastics, kids’ toys… the list goes on.

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The point of the exercise – aside from the 13 bags of rubbish that are no longer headed toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – was to demonstrate how enormous the problem of marine debris really is. When was the last time you visited a beach without rubbish? According to Tim, they no longer exist.

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The clean up in Brisbane was the launch of the 28-day Talking Trash Tour. Sailing from Brisbane to Sydney, the guys will call in on 15 coastal communities and provide free talks, film screenings and tours of Adrian’s sustainable catamaran, SV Moana. There are also beach clean-ups and demonstrations of a cool machine that converts plastic into readily-available diesel.

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The guys behind the tour dedicate their lives to cleaning up our oceans. Tim is co-founder of Take 3, an educational organisation with a simple message: take three items of rubbish every time you visit the beach (or any natural setting for that matter – as Tim says, everywhere leads to the ocean eventually). Adrian is the founder of The Ocean Ambassadors and spends his days sailing around the pacific educating kids, adults, councils and organisations about waste-management. His clothing company, Leisure Activist Group, makes clothing from discarded plastic bottles.

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If you can, I strongly suggest you go along to one of the events (dates are listed below) and learn a little more about litter. Find out more about the Talking Trash Tour here.

8/9th Jan. – Gold Coast
11th Jan – Byron Bay
12th Jan. – Ballina
14th Jan. – Yamba
19th Jan. – Coffs Harbour
21st Jan. – Port Macquarie
23rd Jan. – Forster/ Tuncurry
25th Jan. – Port Stephens
26th – 28th Jan – Newcastle
29th Jan. – Long Jetty
30th Jan. – Avoca
31st Jan. – Hornsby
2nd Feb. – Manly
3rd Feb. – Darling Harbour




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