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Going to the source to lessen the litter

MOST rubbish entering the bay comes from car parks and the street. So, to reduce the amount of rubbish finding its way onto the foreshore and into the water meant cleaning up street litter – especially outside shops and supermarkets.

And that’s a task Rye resident Josie Jones excelled in: so much so that the graphic designer was last week awarded the Litter Prevention prize in the Keep Victoria Beautiful 2017 Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards.

The presentation was made at Horsham, in the Wimmera, on Saturday 25 November.

The Victorian Tidy Towns program, first run in 1983, sets out to recognise and applaud the hard work of people and groups, especially in rural communities, and to share these best practices and ideas.

This year’s awards were supported by Awards Online and Coopers Brewery.

Victorian Tidy Towns judge Terry O’Brien said: “In April this year, Josephine Jones undertook an incredible challenge. She collected nearly four tonnes of rubbish from the foreshore, referencing the material and identifying it as coming from the local supermarket car park.

“Josephine convinced the supermarket to address this problem through cleaning schedules and litter prevention initiatives, such as recycle bins.”

Keep Victoria Beautiful CEO Sabina Wills said: “The success of this project increased the protection of the local marine environment. It empowered the local community to set high standards to prevent and reduce litter in their community.”

Ms Jones, who won the KVB Tidy Towns: Dame Phyllis Frost Award in 2016 for her “outstanding commitment to her work in sustainability”, said she used the award to approach Woolworth’s Rye supermarket management to “be part of the solution” in reducing car park litter.

“[Litter] used to be a blame game but, after I went back to them for the fourth time, to their credit, Woolworth’s took the initiative,” she said.

Using the nickname “The one-tonne mermaid”, which she received for collecting 4.2 tonnes of litter at Rye after weekly beach clean-ups, Ms Jones says she is trying to reinvent the sentiment of the Life Be In It and Keep Australia Beautiful campaigns.

This thinking led her to act on the supermarket car park which she described as a disgrace. “There were hundreds of cigarette butts, papers and rubbish everywhere,” she said.

“I got the Scouts, staff at the supermarket and members of the community and I asked the shire to be transparent with maps to see who was littering. We managed to more than halve the amount of litter ending up on the foreshore.”

The self-employed mother of a 13-year-old is unabashed in urging the community to back her stance: “We need people to support us and we want to inspire the community.”

Part of the urge to inspire relates to making us think – and act: “If you are down the beach and the bins are full then take your extra rubbish home,” she said.

“Don’t just leave rubbish on the ground where it will eventually be blown into the water.

“It takes courage to think outside the square. If we don’t clean up our foreshore areas our kids will not experience it as we did.

“We have a beautiful country and it deserves to be respected.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 5 December 2017 STORY BY Stephen Taylor

Artist’s Posters play for a clean bay

STANDING in the sand dunes at Rye, Josie Jones is pleased to note the absence of rubbish.

She is there to promote a community walk at Hastings to raise money and awareness of the Dolphin Research Institute, for which she has designed and added a poster to her “I’m really a mermaid” series.

No stranger to the foreshore at Rye, Ms Jones has for the past 12 years walked its length and breadth collecting rubbish either dropped by careless beachgoers or dropped in the bay.

A graphic designer, Ms Jones estimates she’s collected four tonnes of rubbish in a personal campaign that’s been recognised with a KVB Tidy Towns: Dame Phyllis Frost Award for “her outstanding commitment to her work in sustainability”.

A regular speaker at schools and community groups, she is a keen diver and likes to mention the “full stable of seahorses” under Rye pier.

The presence of the seahorse colony exemplifies the need for a clean bay.

“The end result of dropping rubbish on land ends in the sea,” Ms Jones says.

“I’m passionate about people coming together and working together.”

Part of her vision is to help the Dolphin Research Centre, something she can achieve by producing a series of posters with her graphic art skills.

She has also become something of a statistician, counting and weighing rubbish to convince people of the growing waste problem. Over two months she collected 5879 cigarette butts.

“I take a psychological approach. I don’t take no for an answer and I love seeing people succeed.”

Ms Jones says she has gained the support of a supermarket in collecting rubbish left lying in its car park and is now trying to convince Mornington Peninsula Shire that installing and regularly emptying a recycling bin is a lot cheaper than burying rubbish at the tip.

“I come up with solutions and I’m persistent.” Story by Keith Platt

 

Plastic Wave hits Rye

Come see what “Dinner” looks like!

Christian Gundesen creates “Expressions of the ocean” as he appears as the Featured Sculptor Dromana Art Show 2015. See Christian turn rubbish into a living expression of the ocean, that will have you standing in awe.

Join us at the Dromana Art Show in it’s  41st year of vibrant collaboration between Dromana Primary School and Dromana Rotary Club. It is bigger and more exciting than ever, showcasing contemporary and traditional works across a range of mediums.

This year sees the ever talented Christian Gundesen as the featured sculptor. Christian will be exhibiting 6 unique pieces created especially for this show and we are certain, it’s not to be missed.

Using his traditional cuttlebone carvings, this exhibition sees Christian move into other mediums, such as carving the lead of a pencil, turning rubbish into a living expression of the ocean and cuttlebone pieces that will have you standing in awe.

This year will see Christian Sculpt a piece entitled “Dinner” inspired by the collection of rubbish from the Mornignton Peninsula foreshore, in the “One Tonne Challenge” led by Creative Director, Josie Jones. Visualise her quest to keep Port Phillip bay clean, respecting all marine life and preserving a unique coastal environment, when you see Christina turn what she collects into an inspiring piece of art.

Be inspired by other artists, such as the works of David Day, recently on ABC Open – a fantastic resource for the positive effects of  recycling and turning rubbish into art.

Join us for the 41st annual Dromana Art Show and come see what Dinner looks like!

Melbourne Cup Weekend see the opening night, Friday October 30th 7pm – LATE

Image thanks to inspiring art by Mandy Barker international award winning photographer whose work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition. The motivation for her work is to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans whilst highlighting the harmful affect on marine life and ultimately ourselves.

Her series SOUP has been published in over 20 countries including Time Magazine,
The Guardian, The Financial Times, Smithsonian, GEO and The Explorers Journal.
She has exhibited globally from The Photographers’ Gallery, Somerset House,
The Mall and Cork Street Galleries in London, to The Aperture Foundation New York
and The Science and Technology Park in Hong Kong. Her work is currently touring the
United States as part of the exhibition, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, that began at The
Anchorage Museum in Alaska. She has been selected as a winner for many awards
including the LensCulture Earth Award 2015 and has been nominated twice for the
prestigious Prix Pictet award, the world’s leading photographic award in sustainability.

For more inspiring rubbish art