The First Step is, Doing

26 Jul 2018 The First Step is, Doing

On Monday night this week the peloton against plastic team were invited along to the ABC’s Q&A program special on the War on Waste. Then on Tuesday night we saw the first episode of that series for 2018. Last night I was asked to help with the waste program at a music festival, waste is certainly the topic of the moment.

One question that came up many times is “does my individual contribution make a difference”? This resonates with me personally because I have thought it for many years myself. Cleaning a beach for 15 years and seeing your work undone within 24 hours with the beach covered once again in plastic can certainly leave you feeling more than a little disheartened. 

Citizen Blue bins with the assistance of Plastic Free Wollongong and Fair Food Forager

I’ve spoken before about the impact you have as an individual and how your actions are making a difference whether that is obvious to you right now or not. Of course not contributing to so much unnecessary waste is a great thing and if we were all doing that we probably wouldn’t be talking about this stuff so much right now. 

Though is it the multiplying effect of your actions that is having the biggest impact, the seed you are planting in others? As programs like the War on Waste exceed expectations in their reach. People, groups and business talk more and more, this conversation is penetrating deeper and deeper into society. It is amazing to hear that large corporations like Woolworths and MacDonald’s are looking to make changes. Not always as quickly as we would like, nevertheless this is on the agenda and that is definitely a good thing. 

Badge Badge

So generally I would say individual actions are starting to gain momentum, growing conversations and it was at last night’s event that I was most encouraged. Efforts of an individual do make a difference.

As the big top concert area emptied, three or four people moved in to collect the drink containers left over from concert goers. Within minutes there were 20 or more people filling bags with cans and bottles. 

Many hands make light work.

One girl said to me she felt like crying because she was so happy to see people joined together to clean the area and leave it spotless.

It is not someone else’s responsibility to take care of our planet and last night people stepped up proudly to set the example.

10mins and we were done.

What more can I say? People moving people. Well done Wollongong.

Paul Hellier - Founder

All images: Andy Grey

Don't forget to follow the Peloton Against Plastic as we work to bring the documentary to life, we will have more video updates coming your way.

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