What’SUP? Cleanup Paddles in SUPtember!

Young paddlers help clean up the Macquarie River with Western Paddlers NSW and Dubbo Rivercare.

Are you concerned about the amount of plastic rubbish in our rivers, lakes and oceans?

PaddleNSW is organising a weekend of co-ordinated paddle-based cleanups across NSW as part of the SUPtember campaign being run by many environmental organisations (largely through the Boomerang Alliance). The weekend of paddle cleanups is the 5th and 6th of September. Are you keen to join in?

What is SUPtember?

‘SUP’ stands for ‘single-use plastics’ (as well as ‘stand-up paddle’ boards! – they are good SUPs, single-use plastics are bad SUPs!)

September is a month of activities aimed at reducing the amount of plastic in our environment. This includes reducing the production and use of (bad) SUPs, increasing the recycling of plastics, cleaning up plastic in the environment, and ensuring the state government implements the NSW Plastic Plan (see https://yoursay.dpie.nsw.gov.au/plastics-plan).

A little pied cormorant sits amongst plastic waste on the Cooks River, Sydney. Photo by Bridget Cleaver.

So far we have several paddle clubs, commercial operators and PaddleNSW members planning to clean up their local paddle patch. You can round up your organisation’s members or gather your friends and join in on existing activities, or organise your own cleanup event. If restrictions are tightened due to COVID-19, activities can still hopefully take place in smaller groups or individually.

We encourage people at their cleanup to weigh the rubbish, take photos and email the data and photos to their local MP and the NSW Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean, to let the state government know of our support for the NSW Plastics Plan, ensure that the plan for implementation is kept on track – and to let them know that we are implementing it already!

PaddleNSW will be promoting paddle cleanups leading up to the events and sharing stories and photos afterwards.

If you are organising your own cleanup, here’s what info you can send us:

Before the event:

  • Your cleanup plans (date, time etc)
  • Whether PaddleNSW can promote the event (e.g. it might be just a few friends getting together and not want it promoted, or it might be a club event which you’d like promoted)

After the event:

Rubbish cleared from the river.
  • The amount of rubbish collected (preferably in kilograms or otherwise in the number of otto bins full)
  • Location
  • Duration of the event (e.g. how many hours)
  • Number of people
  • What organisations were involved
  • Your awesome photos
  • Whether you emailed your local MP to ensure that they support and implement the NSW Plastics Plan.

Please send the information to Bron Powell at bron@paddlensw.org.au

We are also encouraging people at coastal cleanups to log their rubbish collected on the TangaroaBlue.org database.

We are using #SUPtember and #trashypaddlers on social media.

Contact Bron Powell for more information: bron@paddlensw.org.au