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.

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

Fed up with vandals on the coast? Us too!

Each year the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee receives multiple reports of illegal activities, with staff regularly discovering evidence of poor behaviour on the coast, particularly during peak season. This summer has been no different with a recent spate of illegal behaviour on coastal reserves along the Surf Coast.

Multiple coastal sites in Torquay, Lorne, and Anglesea have been impacted by people lighting fires, littering and destroying vegetation. Party sites are particularly destructive to native vegetation, as trees are cut for firewood and rubbish is often left behind, not to mention the damage made to the stability of fragile dune systems.

Read more

Coast Guardians clean up the coast

Coast Guardians from Geelong Lutheran College have recently collected rubbish from the dunes at Whites Beach, Torquay.

Asides from helping to clean up the coastline and prevent marine debris from impacting our precious wildlife, the aim of the day was to collect data for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database. The AMDI works with industry and government to create change on a larger scale, and aims to work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. Read more

The adventures of Rusty Swordfish

Plastic pollution is no joke, Education Coordinator Hilary Bouma said as she forwards the video of Rusty Swordfish and the latest marine debris film by Jarrod Boord.

“Plastic pollution is not something to laugh about, but we need to get the message out there and start getting people talking about the small actions we can all take everyday to help protect our planet. Read more

Rubbish dumped at Torquay’s Taylor Park

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee staff were left frustrated after a small truck load of rubbish and debris was illegally dumped on the Beach Road side of Taylor Park last night.

Discarded pieces of concrete, bricks and other building supplies were left in Taylor Park on top of mulch and dirt piles the Great Ocean Road Coast use to improve the vegetation at the popular park area. Read more