At Rooland, we love our planet and we love our community.  So when there’s an opportunity to support both, we can’t help but roll up our sleeves, throw on our gloves and get involved!

On Saturday some of the Rooland team headed down to North Gong beach to take part in the first ever World Clean Up Day! We joined over 200 members of the local community, JCI Illawarra, as well as awesome local environmental NGOs, Intrepid Landcare, Green Connect, Surfrider Foundation and Plastic Free Wollongong, to clean up North Gong beach and surrounds.

There were people of all ages, puppies, divers, cyclists and a team of very committed rubbish sorters, all working together to get the job done.  And what an effort! In just over an hour, the community managed to pick up 246 kilograms of rubbish from across the beach, Stuart Park, Puckey’s Lagoon and even from below the waters of Belmore Basin.

Unfortunately, heaps of the rubbish found were single-use plastics and the numbers are astounding!

Plastic Straws – 117
Plastic Bottles – 173
Bottle tops and lids – 139
Coffee and plastic cups – 192

These items are totally unessential and have plenty of reusable, beautifully designed alternatives that are not a danger to our wildlife and waterways.

There were plenty of strange and surprising items uncovered as well, including three tyres, heaps of engine oil bottle, a birdcage and an electric fan.

World Clean Up Day had registered clean ups in 144 countries across the globe with 12.7 million volunteers involved, and still counting! The clean up was the biggest civic action involving waste ever to occur in human history! And we’re so glad we got to be a part of it.

Sustainability is the cornerstone of what we go at Rooland and how we do it. We believe businesses, individuals and governments are all responsible for plastic waste and everyone has a responsibility to keep our planet beautiful. At Rooland, we want to be part of the solution, not only through the way we work but also the way we live our lives and interact with our community.

We can’t wait to see the massive sustainability changes to happen across the Illawarra thanks to the tireless efforts of our NGOs and committed community members in the Gong!

All photos by Tad Souden.