Volunteers 'Paddle Against Plastic' to preserve Georges River

Georges Riverkeeper chairman and Fairfield councillor Adrian Wong and program manager Beth Salt were joined by PlasticMan from Oatley Flora and Fauna and other community volunteers at the Paddle Against Plastic event.
Georges Riverkeeper chairman and Fairfield councillor Adrian Wong and program manager Beth Salt were joined by PlasticMan from Oatley Flora and Fauna and other community volunteers at the Paddle Against Plastic event.

Volunteers from across Sydney paddled their way up and down a small section of the Georges River to collect rubbish last week.

The 86 community volunteers removed an estimated 267 kilograms of rubbish at the annual Paddle Against Plastic event.

Georges Riverkeeper chairman and Fairfield councillor Adrian Wong said it was great to see so many helpful kayakers.

"Congratulations and thank you to the community volunteers from across Sydney who gave up their time and came out in kayaks and on foot to rid the river of rubbish," he said.

Georges Riverkeeper coordinates projects on behalf of the eight local councils along the length of the Georges River, including Campbelltown, Camden, Fairfield and Georges River.

The organisation focuses on water quality monitoring and research, rubbish collection and bush regeneration, stormwater advocacy and community education

Georges Riverkeeper program manager Beth Salt said it was important to preserve the rivers natural environment.

"Plastics don't ever break down, they just break up into smaller and smaller pieces that degrade river health and kill wildlife," she said.

"Disposing of litter the right way and swapping single use plastics for reusables will help to fight the problem, but community clean-ups like this are great to educate people about the plastic problem and one of the best ways to get rid of the plastic once it is already in our environment."

Ms Salt said the event was a great success.

"It was an awesome event and a great day for kayaking," she said.

"Because of Covid restrictions we had people staggered and scheduled to arrive at different times so the energy was great all day."

Ms Salt said the Georges River was an important part of Sydney's natural environment.

"Our aspirational goal is to have a livable urban river," she said.

"Obviously it is very important because we live beside it and we want to spend time using it but that comes with the potential for pollution and contamination.

"In Campbelltown the river is in great nick because it is surrounded by more rural and bushland whereas the river tends to suffer in the more urban areas it flows through."

The event was arranged by Georges Riverkeeper in collaboration with City of Canterbury Bankstown and the River Canoe Club.

For further information or to take part in upcoming events find 'Georges Riverkeeper' on Facebook or visit: georgesriver.org.au.