On Tuesday the 28th of August the I Sea I Care ambassadors Alesia, Tegan and Tahlia went to the litter workshop. We started the day at Banyan Reserve. This retarding basin is designed to move the water through the drains that go to Kananook Creek, which then flows into Port Philip Bay. At the drains the main rubbish we saw was single use plastic. We watched South East Water bring out the metal chained nets that catch the rubbish at the end of the drain. We saw heaps of leaves, rubbish and sometimes even eels are caught in these traps. This has to be done once a month or sometimes more due to heavy rain. This costs tax payers 190,000 dollars for South East Water to do this at all their Victorian traps.

Next we walked around the big pond to do water testing using a turbidity tube to test the acidity and oxygen levels. If you could see the black and white cross at the end of the long and clear tube it was safe and clear drinking water but still it’s not exactly clean for us to drink due to all the rubbish we saw. You couldn’t test the water until 48 hours after a downfall of rain. To collect good data OF THE WATER you would have to take into consideration the time of day and temperature as this effects the water quality. Our tests found 37% of dissolved oxygen which is quite good for still water. Phosphates were one part per million so the wetlands are doing a good job.

Then we were looking at what was living in the water, we found lots of vertebrae including water boatmen, biting midges and nonbiting midges. They were too small to identify, even with a magnifying glass as they were so small!

Next we got in the car and drove to Frankston Lifesaving Club. There we were put into groups, one group did a beach clean-up and the other group did a rubbish survey. We did the rubbish survey. What we had to do was find rubbish in a marked out square metre. We spoke about nurdles that are small round balls of plastic that are released from factories. We then collected rubbish from the beach and we surprisingly got a whole bag of rubbish. And we only had ten minutes. We found a huge amount of micro plastics washed up in the shore.

Finally we walked 2km on the kKananook Reserve walking track. It was a long walk and we crossed a busy road Nepean Highway. After we crossed the highway we slowly made it to our last destination. We saw the last litter trap along this creek. Its purpose is to stop the litter from flowing into Port Philip Bay. There was a lot of rubbish and we even saw a dead fish and chemicals that people have dumped down their sink. We saw Frankston City Council picking up the rubbish in the trap. IT surprisingly was a lot off rubbish in the stream. Then we walked back to Tegan’s mum’s car and went back to school. After all we had some fun and we were very shocked about how much rubbish we found.

The main message we learnt from the work shop that we want to share with you today is to reduce, reuse and recycle the amount of plastics and especially single use plastic and make better choices at the supermarket when buying household items.

Ask yourself, could you get them fixed? Do you really need it? Can it be recycled?

A tip we learnt was to cut all the rings around milk bottles so that it won’t hurt any animal that may get stuck in it.

Together we can all work together to reduce the amount of rubbish on our planet.