Clean Away Banksia Beach State School

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Local students from the Banksia Beach State School were recently announced winners of the 2020 Waste Warrior Tangalooma EcoMarine’s challenge.

With the support of Australia’s largest wastemanagement company Cleanaway, this challenge across Primary and Secondary schools in Southeast Queensland was designed to help raise awareness of recycling, while changing behaviours in the community and influencing the attitudes of young Australians. The challenge saw Banksia Beach students create art from the most common litter items found in their school ground.

The students developed an artwork called ‘Plastic Ocean’, a thoughtprovoking and intricate piece that draws attention to the devastating impact plastic has on our waterways, both close to home and around the world.

‘Plastic Ocean’ was formed out of discarded soft plastic bottles, drink lids and packaging mesh, which were delicately and methodically arranged to form the outline of common marine life including fish, a stingray and starfish. Housed on a wooden frame, the final piece is a vibrant display that reiterates how we need to protect our marine life.

“Throughout the judging process, the Banksia Beach State School was a clear stand out for their creativity and the important message they were communicating. The piece reminds us all about the devastating impact plastic is having on our waterways in Australia and also globally, and how, we can make small steps to make a difference,” stated Elli Webb, Cleanaway Education Coordinator.

“At Cleanaway, we’re extremely proud to partner with Tangalooma EcoMarine on this fantastic community school-based recycling and litter prevention competition.”

Local council and businesslead initiatives across Australia are seeking to divert waste from landfill, reduce contamination levels and help develop a greater circular economy – the competition is a great example of this. From educating residents about the amount of waste they produce, to maximising recycling efforts, each program is designed to educate Australians on the importance of waste management and recycling.

“Now and into the future, we will continue to support the communities in which we operate by partnering with local and council initiatives to engage and educate the next generation of EcoWarriors,” said Webb. The students of Banksia Beach State School believe the greatest threat to our planet is the belief someone else will save it.

They are hoping through their win, along with utilising resources from the local council and businesses such as Cleanaway, they can become a group of thoughtful, committed citizens who change the recycling and waste habits of many Australians.

The students involved in this challenge are now calling on the local community to make small changes within their lifestyle to help make a bigger impact. From reusing disposable water bottles and choosing reusable plastic containers, to avoiding single use plastic at the supermarket, all small efforts will make a big impact on our local community and beyond.

As winners of this challenge, the local Banksia Beach State School students are set to receive a visit from a Cleanaway recycling truck and an experienced Cleanaway Waste Education Officer who will ensure they are equipped with the resources and tools they need to continue these great efforts.