Sea Shepherd Australia Achieves Milestone of 1000 Community Clean-ups

Wednesday, 14 Dec, 2022

Since 2016, Sea Shepherd Australia has conducted over 1000 community clean-ups, cleaning up 750 kilometres of coastline and removing over 4 million pieces of trash. 

This incredible milestone has only been made possible thanks to the dedicated volunteers who have turned out to attend clean-ups around the country.  

Since the inception of Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign in Perth in 2016, community clean-ups have been hosted in cities and towns all around Australia, from the white-sand beaches of Exmouth on Western Australia’s North West Cape to the windswept coastline of southern Tasmania. 

"What an incredible achievement by passionate and dedicated volunteers. It shows how working together, we produce excellent outcomes and can empower people to take action on Australia’s beaches to protect our unique and diverse marine life. 1000 cleanups since 2016 means that on average our teams have conducted beach clean-ups twice a week for 7 years. I am just so inspired and motivated to see how hundreds of people have come together to clean up and take action on our beaches and be part of Sea Shepherd’s Marine Debris Campaign."

- Liza Dicks, Remote Marine Debris Campaigner and Campaign Founder

Coming together, passionate people have turned out to clean a staggering 750 kilometres of Australia’s coastline, roughly equivalent to the distance between Sydney and Byron Bay.  

In March 2022, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) forged a historic resolution with 175 countries to make a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution. This resolution firmly places marine plastic pollution on the global stage as one of the most urgent ocean threats. 

"What our Marine Debris Campaign teams face is such an overwhelming and insurmountable adversary, where even once a beach is cleaned, the next onslaught is arriving on the next tide. However, they are unwavering in their efforts because the alternative is to do nothing and that is not in their make-up for they are driven by the knowledge that each piece of harmful toxic plastic is a potential marine life saved. They are real-life modern-day superheroes on the frontline of ocean conservation."

- Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director, Jeff Hansen

1000 Clean-ups: In Pictures 

Take a look at photos from our clean-ups around the country.  

The Top Items Collected 

 Cigarette butts & filters - 864,843 pieces

 Plastic bits & pieces hard & solid - 610,169 pieces

 Plastic film remnants (bits of plastic bag, plastic wrap etc.) - 483,742 pieces

 Plastic packaging food (wrap, packets, containers) - 355,870 pieces

 Foam insulation & packaging (whole & remnants) - 237,498 pieces

Protecting Marine Life  

The coastlines of Australia are home to many species of marine animals, including seabirds, turtles and crabs, all of which are affected by plastic pollution.  

By removing deadly trash from our coastlines and preventing it ending up in the ocean, our team is making a difference for Australia’s precious marine life.  

A turtle wrapped in plastic film, rope and fishing line discovered during a Sea Shepherd clean-up in 2020. Our team were fortunately able to free the turtle.
Take Action

Join the movement to protect our coastlines and #StemTheTide of marine plastic pollution by joining a beach clean-up near you. 




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