The Return and Earn container-deposit scheme was slammed by critics when it came into place on December 1.
But a wildlife rescuer and his family have decided to focus on the silver lining and are rallying the community to join them in their Clean Up the Wild campaign.
The father, Kane Durrrant, said the aim was to gather a group of people who will pick up rubbish along Chipping Norton Lakes to save wildlife.
The campaign was launched last Saturday and the next date is set for February 17 at Cabramatta Creek near Anastasio Road at Liverpool.
With Mr Durrant’s background as owner of Wild Aquarium and Reptile Specialists, he knew all too well the impacts of rubbish on the environment.
“Three weeks ago in Chipping Norton Lake there was a cockatoo with fishing line tangled around its legs and was struggling to get up and fly. We managed to cut the wire off and let it go,” he said. “That was just one case. And there’s wildlife suffering we don’t see or know about. So we thought of the Return and Earn scheme as an opportunity for a clean up day. There’s a lot of wildlife in the area and plastic is a huge problem to it and the environment.”
According to the wildlife rescuer, turtles can swallow plastic or hooks and get tangled in fishing wire, which can kill.
Mr Durrant said his family began picking up rubbish in their spare time and the new years eve was a shocking example of waste. “New years eve was a wake-up call. If we got a group together we’d be able to collect a lot of cans and bottles and use the Return and Earn scheme. We tried it ourselves and it worked.
“Then all the proceeds could go towards organisations which help wildlife such as Sydney Wildlife or Turtle Rescue NSW.”
Clean Up the Wild day is a family-friendly event. Mr Durrant’s children are keen to help – Mikayla, 12, Rider, 7, and Hunter 6.
Rider said: "It's dirty and it looks disgusting. It's not hard to pick up some rubbish and put it in the bin.”
Mikayla said: "Litter harms wildlife when they eat it or try to hide in it and we should aim for a cleaner community anyway.”
FOR COUNTER COLLECTIONS
- Car Wash Café, 1/96 Hoxton Park Road, Lurnea.
- Dipan Carwash, 315 Hume Highway, Warwick Farm.
- Lockwood Carpets Moorebank, U2, 333 Newbridge Road.
- Woolworths Casula, 607 Hume Highway.
- Woolworths Horningsea Park, corner Cowpasture and Kurrajong roads.