If you have ever been to one of our beach clean ups on K’gari (Fraser Island), you probably know how passionate we are about preserving the health of our ocean, beaches, wildlife and coastal environment.
We love hosting beach clean ups, where the most amazing people gather with the same goal in mind: looking after this beautiful island and our planet!
Although the amount of plastic that remains on the island is not always seen at first sight, it is definitely there. From plastic bags, food packaging, hard plastic, beer bottles, aluminium cans, from bottle lids to thongs, lighters, fishing remnants and rope. Now, don’t get us wrong, we would love it if we didn’t have to clean up the beach but unfortunately, in this day and age, beach cleaning is a obligation that has to be fulfilled.
Our oceans are swamped with plastic, our landfill is overflowing with waste and yet we continue to produce increasing amounts of unrecyclable, non-compostable items that are filling up our planet.
Why is there so much rubbish on the beaches of K’gari?
As we learnt at school, the sand on our beaches is a result of longshore drift. These days, more than just catching sand that travels up the east coast of Australia, K’gari also catches all the rubbish that washes out from the river systems as well what is just floating around out there in our precious oceans.
“Though a lot of the rubbish that washes up is from Australian consumers, around 20% finds its way here from other counties or has been dumped by boats. K’gari is a natural catchment area because it is over 125kms long and sticks far out into the ocean”, confirms our founder and passionate environmentalist, Hana Robinson.
About 80% of all rubbish found on the island washes up from the ocean but about 20% is discarded by thoughtless visitors.
Regular beach clean-ups are necessary to maintain the rubbish washing up constantly. Annika Thomson, director of Ocean Crusaders, says “we need to sweep the beach at least once a week or have more committed locals like Hana there to do the job. We have spoke to the government about it, but looking after our natural worlds is always on the too expensive job list.”
The need for local support is urgent. The environment and all the living creatures that depend on it can’t continue to wait for us to clean up our act. If you would like to support our ongoing efforts in the war against waste on K’gari – sponsorship sign-ups for the Community Beach Clean-Ups on K’gari are open!
How do K’gari Fraser Island Adventures’ clean ups work?
Every quarter, K’gari Fraser Island Adventures together with Zero Co organise beach clean ups on Fraser Island. A bunch of eco-warriors roll up their sleeves and take long walks on the beach picking up plastic. These special weekends are always full of epic moments, big laughs and so much plastic crap.
Everyone is welcome, from experts and people really committed to the environment, to curious locals or internationals that want to participate during their visit to the Fraser Coast spectacular region.
In a nutshell, volunteers take long walks along the beach collecting plastic, learn about the importance of the island’s biodiversity and enjoy amazing conversations with like-minded people.
K’gari’s Community Beach Clean-Ups are all about living by the first law that K’gari Traditional Owners have instilled through sharing their respectful culture with Hana and Mark (owners and founders of K’gari Fraser Island Adventures formerly Drop Bear Adventures). What is good for the land must come first and they could not agree more. They are honored to work with the Butchulla community in bringing people to the country to help clean up the beach and help further their respect for land and culture.
Of course, there is always time to explore K’gari and some of its best spots too and we are very passionate about making this a fun and rewarding weekend. Meals, transport and beachfront accommodation is all included.
ZeroCo, part of the solution
If you haven’t heard about these legends yet, stop doubting and check them out. They will be the only home-cleaning and personal-care brand you will want to give your money to.
Their main aim is to deliver amazing products that don’t harm the environment and get rid of single-use plastics. The solution they offer is simple and amazing. Every ZeroCo box contains empty dispensers of the product you bought and a bunch of refill pouches. The first one you keep it forever and you only send back the pouches when you run out of them. ZeroCo reuses and refills the pouches and a new box will be delivered to your house.
Too easy, huh? They also provide reply-paid postage satchels, making your life even easier.
Behind this incredible process, lies a very innovative idea that solves an existing problem. Did you know that 85% of what goes in your yellow recycling bin ends up in a landfill? That’s right, this means that a almost all of the plastic we collect from the beach during clean-ups cannot be recycled because they are either contaminated, decomposed, microplastics or it is impossible to identify which kind of plastic it is.
ZeroCo found a way to process the rubbish from oceans and beaches and produce Forever Bottles (the dispensers) with it. So far they removed over 6,000kg of plastic from the ocean!
If you want to know how they make this happen click here.
Okay, let’s talk crap
The clean up that we hosted for ZeroCo was an absolute win for everyone and especially for K’gari. We collected 547 kgs of trash and 21,159 pieces of rubbish in three days with an epic group of volunteers that made it possible.
Since we founded our tour and accommodation company in 2013, we’ve been committed to making Fraser Island a better place. We have hosted 6 beach clean ups, 10.567 tonnes of trash were collected and 205 volunteers participated all in all!
Everyone is welcome to join us on one of our beach clean ups on K’gari. As hosts, we offer accommodation, yummy meals, 4WD transport and take care of all the logistics together with Ocean Crusaders. Volunteers are encouraged to make a contribution in order to solve crucial costs.
Get in touch with our team and we will tell you all about it! You will have the opportunity to enjoy a couple of days with like-minded warriors doing something great for nature, animals and people. And hey, don’t forget we will have a lot of fun too. If you didn’t visit Fraser Island yet, this is an awesome way of exploring it for the first time.
Tiny plastics, big problem
Microplastics are the tiny evils of plastics. Small plastic pieces less than five millimetres long can be really harmful to the environment, wildlife and eventually, humans.
They usually come from larger plastics that degrade into smaller and smaller pieces or can be microbeads that are added to face washes, toothpaste, make up and your gold old fashioned glitter!
Unfortunately, microplastics are everywhere and are impossible to recycle, as they can rarely be found at first sight. As part of our ecological journey and fight against plastics and microplastics, we only provide our guests with personal care products that don’t harm the environment.
We encourage others to follow the same commitment and organizing beach clean ups on K’gari because it is a huge part of our efforts to expand the no-plastic revolution to the community.
Volunteering on a Fraser Island beach clean up is a life-changing experience, where you will become one with nature and feel part of something bigger. Let the natural beauty of K’gari remind you why we are doing this.
Small changes, big impact
All right warrior, don’t get too upset too soon. We know the whole thing can seem discouraging but the truth is that we are more and more people fighting for the same change. So keep on going, you are doing great.
Here are some ideas that work:
- Fall in love with bamboo. We promise, your hair and teeth will also appreciate it.
- Thrifting. We know that a spark of vintage style will look great on you.
- Cosy Sunday at the markets. Buy your fruits and veggies at the local market, where not a single plastic is needed. Don’t forget your reusable bags!
- Learn how to read labels! The following names are indicators that a product has microplastics: Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), Nylon (PA), Polyurethane, and Acrylates Copolymer.
- Choose your fabrics well. Hemp, linen, jute and bamboo don’t create microplastic. But polyester, nylon, spandex and fleece do.
Thank you for being part of this movement and sharing the same dream with us! We hope we inspired you to continue doing the best you can. Stay tuned for updates about upcoming beach clean ups!