Queensland's Containers for Change launches 1 November, an initiative to stem litter of the three billion beverage containers used by Queenslander's every year.
Queenslanders were greeted today with a large-scale fish made of drink container waste; aimed at drawing attention to the fact that Queensland is the litter capital of Australia… 45% more plastic rubbish is found in the Queensland environment than found in the rest of the country.
This year, almost three billion beverage containers were consumed in Queenslanders, with most ending up in the litter stream. Beverage container are the second most littered item in Queensland. The art installation, made up of 4,000 containers, was unveiled at King George Square yesterday, ahead of the launch of Queensland's container refund scheme, Containers for Change, launching 1 November 2018.
Containers for Change will play a key role in reducing beverage container litter and increase recycling across Queensland. A network of over 230 refund sites will be available across the State, allowing customers to collect and return eligible containers for a 10 cent refund, or uniquely, allow customers to make a virtual donation to their favourite community, school or sporting group, or charity.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch, said this scheme provided financial incentives while also encouraging people to recycle.
"Queenslanders use close to three billion containers per year and laid end-to-end, those containers would stretch around the world roughly 10 times," Ms Enoch said.
"Sadly, containers are the second most commonly littered item, despite the fact they can be easily recycled.
"Containers for Change will help improve recycling rates, reduce litter, provide a funding stream for our charities and community groups, and grow new business and employment opportunities for Queensland.
"This is the very beginning of the scheme and as more Queenslanders participate and the scheme grows, we expect more and more refund sites will be established across the state."
Containers for Change was established and is operated by the Government-appointed organisation Container Exchange (QLD) Ltd (CoEx).
Alby Taylor, Acting Chair of Container Exchange said it was important that Queenslanders understood the problem the scheme is trying to fix.
"The sculpture is a clear demonstration of how much waste is in our waterways – through implementing the Containers for Change scheme we will see litter reduce in our oceans, rivers and creeks and recycling increase," Mr Taylor said.
Mackay artist and conservationist David Day was commissioned by Containers for Change to design this sculpture, which stands 3080mm high, 6000mm long and consists of recycled drink containers.
Day lives on the beach at Shoal Point in Mackay and sees the direct consequence litter has on the shores, influencing his work over the last five years to shine a spotlight on marine conservation.
"I usually make my art forms from marine debris, and most of the time plastic containers are the most easily found. I am very honoured to have been chosen as the artist to design this sculpture - by making a large-scale fish using this waste, I hope to emphasise the importance of taking better care of our State and taking part in this exciting new recycling scheme." David Day said.
The artwork will be installed across two days, with free kids' activities available for fun and educational arts and crafts for the family to enjoy on Sunday.
Queenslanders are invited to visit www.containersforchange.com.au for more information on how the scheme works, to register for a scheme ID and discover how they can become part of the change, to keep Queensland beautiful.