Ben & Jerry’s Volunteers team up with Keep NSW Beautiful to Clean Up Coogee Beach

On Thursday 26 March,  we joined forces with a team of corporate leaders from Ben & Jerry’s at Coogee Beach for the first ‘Take the Pledge’ Day of 2015, including a litter count and collection of signed pledges from locals that they would not litter. The Day was a great success in raising awareness about the litter problem in New South Wales and involving a business with an admirable social and environmental ethic.

Despite the fact that Randwick City Council does a litter sweep of Coogee Beach every morning, and also employs litter-pickers throughout the day, our 41 volunteers collected 3,382 pieces of litter in just one hour, including 1,770 cigarette butts, from Coogee Beach and the adjacent park. Other notable items in the count included a child’s abandoned tricycle, and 280 beverage containers.

They also collected just over 400 pledges in one hour!

KNSWB Chief Executive, David Imrie, says of the event “Littering is a behavioural problem; Take the Pledge raises awareness through events like this one at Coogee Beach to show how prevalent litter still is. You may not notice it if when looking at the landscape, but the amount of litter out there – even when councils invest in clean-ups – is just shocking.

“We all know littering is wrong. The only way to protect our environment and communities from litter is by consistent education campaigns and reminding people to do the right thing.”

Remember, anyone who wants to pledge their support for litter-free communities can take the pledge online at:


Facts about littered cigarette butts

  • Cigarettes contain up to 4,000 chemicals
  • Within just one hour of contact with water, the chemicals begin to leach into an aquatic environment and threaten the wellbeing of marine life
  • One butt alone can pollute 40 to 60 litres of fresh water
  • An estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year
  • Cigarettes are consistently the most littered item in all locations
  • Cigarette filters are made of plastic, which never biodegrades, just breaks down into smaller pieces of plastic

Litter Facts

  • The annual cost of litter services nationally is approximately $300- $350 million.
  • A 2014 CSIRO study estimated that there is 40,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre in Australian oceans

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