Clean Up Australia Day 2019 Scarborough Beach QLD

Hosted by Australian coastal and Marine Ecology

Windy weather, rough seas, king tides and the chance of rain, not to mention the unfortunate loss of the kayaks and stand up paddle boards so kindly donated by ‘Floating Fun’ due to such extreme conditions… and the dedicated ACME volunteers still turned up and put in an outstanding effort to make a difference! Hat’s off to you all!

Some of the amazing volunteers at the Clean Up Australia Day 2019 event hosted by Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology

March 3rd 2019 saw communities contributing to the clean up efforts Australia wide and Scarborough, Queensland was no exception. Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology and Coastal Protection Core, along with a myriad of volunteers spanned Scarborough Beach and Scarborough Park on Sunday and collected trash in the name of conservation and awareness for our beautiful country. Our coastline is frequented by so many, being a major tourist attraction, and with that sadly we find large amounts of rubbish left behind and ending up in the beautiful Moreton Bay, ultimately endangering wildlife. Check out this quick video of ACME Founder and Director Mat Davis and Luke Howarth Federal MP discussing the rubbish survey efforts on the day;

How much rubbish is on our beaches?? Get out and pick up a few bits for clean up Australia Day! Thank you to all our helpers today. What a turnout #acmecology #coastalprotectioncore #cleanupaustralia

Posted by Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology on Saturday, 2 March 2019


At first glance as we set up our collection site, Scarborough Beach and the adjacent park appeared spotless, however, upon closer inspection as we all spread out in search of waste, the results were staggering. Along with our volunteers, including entire families and small children as well as people who travelled from afar to join us, we discovered a wide range of undisposed trash. The largest tallies being cigarette butts, plastic food packaging, coffee cups and plastic coffee cup lids and ghost gear/ fishing gear remnants. See table below for a summary of the rubbish survey at final count.


A selection of the rubbish collection with Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology Founder Mathew Davis

Clean Up Australia Day – March 2019

Rubbish Survey

Aerosol Cans 5 Party Other 36
Aluminium Cans 26 Pen 3
Aluminium Lids 81 Phone Cover 1
Bait Bags 3 Plastic Bags 51
Band Aids 6 Plastic Bottles 38
Bubble Gum 71 Plastic Cup 3
Cigarette Butts 1168 Plastic Cutlery 36
Coffee Cups 24 Plastic Food Packaging 216
Coffee Lids 66 Plastic – Hard Remnants, Small 91
Cork (wine) 2 Plastic – Hard Remnants, Large 44
Cotton Buds 5 Plastic Lids 127
Elastic Cord 1 Plastic Lid Rings 30
Fabric 30 Plastic Lollipop Sticks 116
Fishing Line 31 metres Plastic Other 286
Fishing Other 6 Plastic Straws / Straw Wrappers 90
Foil 12 Polystyrene Foam 65
Geo Fab 1 large Rope 11.1 metres
Ghost Net 3 Rubber Items 29
Glass Bottle 6.5 Rubber Thong / Shoe 6
Glass Fragments 12 Sanitary Items 12
Glow Sticks 4 Strap 2
Hair Ties 7 Tape 15
Lighter 1 Tennis Ball 2
Metal 37 Wire 1
Miscellaneous 1 Wood 17
Paper 115 Zip Ties 10
Party Balloon / Streamers 133


As many will remember, back in July 2018 Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology together with Coastal Protection Core hosted a series of Clean Up events for the Plastic Free July initiative. One of which was held at Scarborough Beach on Sunday the 15th July, in which we completed a rubbish collection and collated the data. Comparing the data from the same site 7 months later we found the largest increases in the following;

Scarborough Beach and Scarborough Park – Queensland, Australia
Item 2018 Plastic Free July 2019 Clean Up Australia Day
Cigarette butts 507 1168
Fishing Line 6 metres 31 metres
Plastic Cutlery 11 36
Plastic Coffee Cup Lids 13 66

On a very positive note, a good news story has also come out of the clean up! We found several pieces of bamboo disposable cutlery, which wasn’t found at the first clean up in July last year. This indicates that 1 or more restaurants/café’s in the area have developed more sustainable practices choosing to opt for a product that will break down and return to nature. This is definitely a step in the right direction!

Many thanks from the team at Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology for the support from our volunteers and the wider community for getting involved and helping us collate some important data. We appreciate you! Here are a few photos from the day, enjoy and we’ll see you next time!



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