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Sydney Water removes one million plastic bottles from waterways

Sydney Water is calling on customers to help curb the number of plastic bottles that end up in Sydney’s waterways each year.

The removal of plastic bottles from litter booms in the city’s waterways costs around $420,000 each year, said Sydney Water’s Robert Allen.

“On average we remove about 700m³, or about 7t, of plastic bottles from our traps each year, which is the equivalent of about 2900 wheelie bins full of plastic bottles. Placed side-by-side this number of wheelie bins would stretch for over 1km,” Allen said.

“These are the figures just for Sydney Water. Councils across Sydney are facing the same problems with similar costs to remove plastic bottles from their litter traps,” he said.

The litter booms have thus far been effective at catching a large amount of the litter that makes its way into Sydney’s waterways, said Cooks River eco-volunteer Peter Munro.

“While we prefer that litter didn’t get into our rivers in the first place, the litter booms are removing large amounts of the floating litter, improving the health and appearance of the rivers and protecting our wildlife.”

Allen was quick to remind Sydneysiders that it is up to all residents to help tackle pollution in their waterways.

“Choosing tap water over bottled water is not only a safe choice, it’s one that can significantly reduce the number of plastic bottles being used in the first place,” Allen said.

“If everyone disposed of their rubbish correctly, it wouldn’t end up flowing into our rivers and waterways.”