Eco tour wins litter prevention award

litter prevention

A Clean-up Eco Tour that has removed 1.3 tonnes of rubbish from Sydney Harbour in the past year won the Litter Prevention Award at this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Awards.

Liesbet Spanjaard, NSW EPA Executive Director Engagement Education and Programs presented the EPA-sponsored award to Sydney by Kayak.

“This is an inspiring example of a business that saw a need and moved to fix it by cleverly adjusting its business model,” Spanjaard said.

“Originally a kayak tour business, Sydney by Kayak founder Laura Stone and her regular paddlers were keen to pick up any floating plastics they came across during their tours.

“This dedicated clean-up paddle removed 1.3 tonnes of rubbish from Sydney Harbour in the past year and raised $16,500 for conservation initiatives.”

James Griffin, newly minted NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, was full of praise for the state’s ongoing success in its efforts to protect the environment at the annual awards.

“These awards celebrate the work being done in communities right across NSW to take ownership of our environmental fortunes,” Griffin said. “This, of course, is consistent with part of the original ethos of Keep Australia Beautiful – that everyone can pitch in.”

“The NSW Government seeks to reflect your aspirations in our efforts to foster a circular economy. Reducing waste, supporting recycling, greater resource recovery and lowering emissions are the common thread to our agenda.”

The Sustainable Cities program recognises and celebrates positive actions taken by councils, community groups, businesses, schools, and individuals in metropolitan areas to protect and enhance their local environments.

They encompass initiatives as diverse as litter prevention, recycling, resource recovery, protection of the environment, preserving heritage and indigenous culture, community action, leadership, education, and social well-being programs.

The 2021 awards program, supported by the NSW EPA and Return & Earn, was held at the Q Station, the repurposed former North Head Quarantine Station, which provided the perfect venue.

City of Canada Bay won the overall award for its diverse programs to engage the community in helping the council manage sustainability and environmental challenges into the future.

Val Southam, Chief Executive Officer Keep Australia Beautiful NSW said she was proud of the Sustainable Cities Awards’ history.

“We are very excited to celebrate the fantastic achievements and spirit of communities and councils, which remain strong during such difficult and challenging times,” she said.

“These awards instil optimism and highlight positive outcomes even during times of hardship.”

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