Chilli Beach is a really remote location in north Queensland, which takes two days of driving mostly on dirt tracks to get to from Cairns. It’s part of the coastline of Cape York Peninsula and could possibly be one of Australia’s most polluted beaches. What is most shocking, though perhaps, is that the rubbish there is not left from beach-goers because there are not many people that visit this beach due to its remoteness. It is purely rubbish that has washed up on the beach from the ocean.
While Australia does not make it onto the list of the world’s 20 worst polluters, Australians generate 13,888 tonnes of plastic litter per year and about a quarter of that ends up in the ocean. Estimates suggest there are still over five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean.
Two young Aussies are on a mission to clean up our beaches and the ocean. After spending seven months travelling Australia’s coastline cleaning up rubbish along the way, Natalie Woods and Daniel Smith were most disheartened when they got to Cape York.
“It’s so remote up there but the beaches are
just completely trashed with rubbish.”
They felt defeated… almost. But instead, they were inspired, and they founded Clean Coast Collective in 2014, an initiative that unites groups of people in large-scale clean-up expeditions in coastal locations.
Trash Tribe expeditions take a group of highly creative and passionate people to remote beaches around Australia that are desperately in need of some beach cleaning love and attention. Last year they removed 3.1 tonnes of marine debris – or 94,000 pieces of rubbish – from almost 7kms of beach.
This video goes for about 20 minutes, but it’s a great summary of the Trash Tribe expedition and the vastness – and seriousness – of this marine debris problem we have:
Next week, the Trash Tribe will head off on their next expedition to Chilli Beach. And, today, on Thank You Thursday, we say thanks to Natalie and Daniel, the team at the Clean Coast Collective and all the volunteers as part of the Trash Tribe for their incredible dedication to cleaning up our coastline.
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick.