Trash Bags on Tour

Have you ever wanted to visit an iconic Australian landmark but feel guilty about the impact on the environment and local wildlife? There is now a solution for this common dilemma. Autopia Tours have partnered with a not-for-profit, volunteer operated Tour Company; Trash Bags on Tour. With the purpose of bringing tourists and travellers to Victorian landmarks, to pick up rubbish!

The concept for Trash Bags on Tour was created in 2018 by Kathryn Farrell and Melissa Tuliranta. They were already familiar with the impact pollution was having on our coast and had started picking up rubbish at their local beaches in Melbourne, however they wanted to reach a broader audience by educating visitors about the environmental footprint people can leave on the coastline.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) Education and Activity Leader, Pete Crowcroft (also known as ‘Possum Pete’), has joined Trash Bags on Tour a number of times as they collect rubbish along the Surf Coast.

Pete speaks to Trash Bags on Tour participants about the coastal environment as well as the environmental education programs GORCC runs for local schools, and why it is so important to educate our younger generations.

On the 10th of January Trash Bags on Tour spent an hour and a half collecting rubbish at Cosy Corner, Torquay. Together they looked at the volume and types of rubbish left behind. It was an eye-opening experience for all participants as they realised just how much rubbish had been left behind.

trash bags on tour rubbish collection - jan 10th 2019
Rubbish collected and then sorted by tour participants on 10 January, 2019.
trash bags on tour cigarette collection - jan 10th 2019
A box of cigarettes collected from Cosy Corner beach in Torquay.

Talking about the work that Trash Bags on Tour does, Pete said:
“Most people come to the coast for a good time, to surf and play. We always encourage people that giving something back on their visit feels great and leaves the place in a better state than when they arrived. Trash Bags do exactly that, coming on tour for a surf but cleaning up as they go.”

Although participants of the tour join with varying degrees of knowledge about environmental sustainability, they’re all given an opportunity to connect with like-minded people while educating themselves. During the tour, participants learn about small changes they can integrate into daily life that will make a difference to the environment whilst enjoying all of the sites.

Co-Director of Trash Bags on Tour, Kathryn Farrell said “I believe these tours offer so much more than just cleaning up an area, they offer a chance to think outside of oneself for a day and connect with some great likeminded people.”

great ocean road surf youth
Participants busy collecting rubbish at Cosy Corner on 10 January, 2019. Photo: Trash Bags on Tour Facebook Page

Trash Bags on Tour are now running monthly trips from Melbourne to destinations such as the Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island, the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. You can keep up to date with their upcoming tours and events via their Facebook Page.

Share our Shores from Coast to Coast

The Barwon Coast Committee of Management and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee have joined forces with a simple message for visitors of the coast this summer.

From Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Peninsula to Cumberland River on the Surf Coast, we are asking beachgoers to ‘Share our Shores’.

The Share our Shores campaign focuses on all aspects of equitable use by all types of beach users.

First launched by the Barwon Coast Committee of Management in November 2017, Share our Shores promotes the respect, responsibilities and rights that are important in minimising conflict between different beach users.

Barwon Coast CEO Gary McPike said: “We look after an extremely popular section of the Victorian coastline and need to encourage everyone to help us balance the huge visitor numbers with coastal protection.”

Great Ocean Road Coast CEO Vanessa Schernickau said that Share our Shores is a great opportunity for coastal land managers to work together in promoting respectful use of our natural resources.

“It’s great to be working alongside our friends at Barwon Coast in spreading the Share our Shores message to respect the coast and respect other beachgoers,” said Ms Schernickau.

Summer is a busy time up and down the coast, adding increased pressure on our natural environment. We all love the beach – let’s make sure we can all enjoy it for generations to come.

For more information on the Share our Shores program visit

Environmental protection from the next generation of coastal innovators

On Wednesday 5 September, around 160 students from five local schools gathered in Torquay to learn, work-shop ideas and celebrate coastal conservation at the annual Coast Guardians Forum hosted by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.

The year 9 students from Northern Bay College, Surf Coast Secondary College, Geelong Lutheran College, Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12 College, and Sacred Heart College had a day of guest presenters, exciting activities and prizes as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast’s award-winning Environmental Education Program. Read more

Nurdles prove major hurdle for marine life

What’s a nurdle? A nurdle is a very small pellet of plastic which serves as the key material in the manufacture of plastic products. Countless billions of these small plastic balls are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products.

Accidental spillage and mishandling means that countless nurdles have ended up in our oceans, wreaking havoc on the environment.

Mistaken for food by our marine-life and seabirds, nurdles and other plastics can make animals very sick when ingested.

Read more