On April 22nd, Dr. Bronner's Australia teamed up with our close friends from David Jones and B-Lab to clean up Merri Creek in Brunswick, Victoria!
The morning started off with an introduction from the Merri Creek Management Committee’s Julia Cirillo, who briefed us on the environmental and historical significance of the area, hazards to watch out for, and the types of litter we would find.
Rather than the plastic drink bottles and single-use bags that you might expect to find tangled up in the landscape of the creek, Julia zeroed in on the fact that microplastics pose a much bigger threat. From fragments of broken down plastic, to the microbeads that were once common in exfoliants, this litter is tricky to spot and the most likely to be inadvertently consumed by humans and animals. Our 12-strong team of volunteered rummaged through mud and leaf litter to find, along the way netting larger finds including food containers, coffee cups, and even an entire Champagne bottle!
We compiled our finds and worked together to sort the rubbish by category, so that each and every piece could be disposed of or recycled with care. We weighed our hauls to find we had saved 12kgs of litter from being washed into our oceans - that’s a kilogram each!
Merri Creek and its surrounding ecosystems are home to some of the most threatened flora and fauna in Australia. Clean-ups like this, revegetation works and path construction have made it possible for these ecosystems to flourish where they otherwise would have died out. We’re so thankful for organisations like the Merri Creek Management Committee who make initiatives like this possible!