strawkling: diving in to tackle the scourge of plastic - good glass water bottle
It was a weekend morning when a group of about 50 people went out to enjoy a gentle morning snorkeling in Sydney's world --famous harbour.
This may be a typical sight.
But this group of people are not your regulars, they are "strawklers" and it's part of a welcome new conservation effort that includes collecting plastic trash, including straws, bags and abandoned fishing from the bottom of the sea.
It is well known that the straw operation was created by Sydney resident Harriet sparks at the end of 2017.
Spark was inspired to start the project, which aims to remove plastic straws from the ocean around Sydney, when she noticed hundreds of items in and around Manly Bay.
A video of her octopus grabbing a straw only encouraged her efforts, and soon the popularity of strawkling soared.
"I think this is because being able to enter and act on the problems facing the world is a feeling good activity," she said . ".
"There's so much doom and darkness out there for reasonable reasons, but it's really powerful when a community can come together and actually act.
"According to the United Nations Environment Programme, 8 million tons of plastic enters the oceans around the world every year, affecting marine wildlife and blocking waterways.
The Australians use about 10 million straws a day, Spark says, and people are still very shocked to find out how many plastic bags, straws, bottles and coffee cups they take away eventually fall into the ocean.
In the summer of 2018, strawklers collected more than 2,500 straws from Manly Bay.
But things seem to be getting better and better.
A group of Potters collected hundreds of straws, plastic bags, fishing lines, glass bottles and even a Mexican straw hat last Saturday.
All items will be counted and logged into the Australian sea debris database, they said.
"This shows that you can change the status quo by implementing changes," said Phill Nicola, a high school teacher at Spark's regular strawberry partner.
Their community work is also not limited to collecting garbage after it is thrown away.
They are trying to stop the situation at sourceSpark, where straklin volunteers work with other organizations to convince more than 40 businesses in the local Manly region to stop using plastic straws.
One of the first restaurants to cancel singles, Hugo Manly
Use plastic from its establishment.
It says it is proud to be associated with straw action.
"We believe in being in harmony with the environment," said Ryan Carmo, manager of Hugo Manly . ".