Rhiannon Simmonds, Seaside Scavenge

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Ever thought that a coffee cup or burger box would be worth something? Well, at the Seaside Scavenge they are. 

On the 14th April, Westport Park will be transformed into a beach-cleaning haven, thanks to the trash trading action that will take place. Seaside Scavenge turns litter into a currency that is used to purchase pre-loved clothes and goods that have been pre-donated by the wider Port Macquarie community.

From 9am – 1pm, the clean-up will take place, and participants will be rewarded for every 10 pieces of litter collected with a trash token. This is the currency accepted in the pop-up seaside market. The Westport Park space will be shared alongside the Port Macquarie Foreshore Markets.

There are prizes up for grabs for the participants who collect the most litter, teams that collect the most litter and for those who “scavenge” the furthest.

This is an exciting event for Port Macquarie, as it marks the second event for the newly formed Seaside Scavenge Port Macquarie Chapter. The chapter has been set-up with the support from Taronga Zoo and Port-Macquarie Hastings Council, with the aim of running a number of annual events to engage the community with waste reduction and ocean pollution.

The chapter will be lead by local student Karen Fulton, and spearheaded with the support of a legendary team of local women who are all concerned by the fact that eight – 13 million tonnes of litter is dumped annually into the ocean. The event will involve the wider community by hosting talks from local community and green groups such as Coastal Warriors and Boomerang Bags, as well as live musicians.

For our April chapter we are also thrilled to be joining forces with The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (PMHC) and Hastings Youth Advisory Council (YAC) as part of the Local NSW Youth Week program 13th – 22nd April 2018 (Unity through Diversity).

Councils Youth Development Officer (Lee Wood) said that one of this year’s Youth Week keen focuses would be partnering with groups to educate young people around being more eco-friendly aware and also to be creative in the re-use of materials.

Rhiannon Simmons (Rhi Rebellion, pictured) winner of Port Macquarie-Hastings Youth Citizen of the Year 2018 will give trash collected on the day a second life, working with our community, young and old, to create art installations that will be exhibited at Artwalk on the 19th April, which is included in the Youth Week Program.

“We’re very excited to hold our second event in the Port Macquarie Chapter and to be teaming up with the wider community to bring awareness to pollution in our waterways. I really hope the event brings people together and opens people eyes to how much one use plastic makes its way into our oceans and that we can make decisions to reduce the amount of waste we create,” says Scavenge Port Macquarie Local Leader, Karen Fulton.

For participants to earn their litter currency, they must register take a bag and gloves, clean-up and then separate and sort the litter collected into recyclables and non-recyclables. Litter is recorded, so that the data can contribute to the Australia Marine Debris Database managed by Tangarra Blue.

We are looking for quality goods, clothes, books, accessories, shoes etc. for our pop-up market. Locals wishing to support via donation of pre-loved goods or volunteering can reach us through the event page.

Seaside Scavenge has grown from a community initiative at Coogee Beach, Sydney to become a not-for-profit organisation. Since March 2015 5,596 kg of litter has been scavenged, 3,814 kg of clothes traded and 2,761 people have participated in Seaside Scavenges.

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