Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach was once so filthy, sewerage found floating in the city's oceans were known as Bondi cigars. In 2023, the waters look relatively clean, but another problem is emerging.
To illustrate the problem, the sculpture was filled with reclaimed household products. They symbolise the tonnes of plastic pollution that enter the world’s oceans every 30 seconds.
While the cold weather kept many sightseers away today, the seagulls and pigeons wandering the beach took interest. Curious kids passing along the boardwalk also relished in the opportunity to shout the words “poo”, “poop” or “s**t” without getting into trouble. Strangely, some adults seemed unfazed by it, casually eating takeaway in its shadow.
The poo was the brain-child of online eco-supplies company Better Packaging Co. It’s a stunt that managed to cut through the barrage of noise that’s generated every World Environment Day by companies trying to spruik their sustainability credentials.
The company’s cofounder Rebecca Percasky approached Yahoo News Australia on the beach, keen to talk about plastic, so we stopped to listen.
“Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year so, we’ve got a real crisis on our hands,” she said. “We just wanted to bring awareness to it, but also show there are positive solutions out there.”
Bondi’s giant poo by the numbers
The giant poo took seven people about three weeks to produce.
It’s filled with post-consumer plastic.
The outside covering is made out of recycled fishing net.
Its creators hope it will go on tour after it leaves Bondi Beach.
What are the solutions to the world’s plastic problem?
Last week, the United Nations global plastic treaty talks concluded with what it called a “zero draft” treaty. It will likely form the basis for a firm agreement on creating binding measures to curb the world’s addiction to waste creation.
The UN has set a goal of reducing plastic pollution by 80 per cent by 2040. If it doesn’t achieve this goal, the problem of plastics entering our waters will worse as production is predicted to triple by 2060.
Ms Percasky thinks Australia needs to stop making so many virgin plastic products and start recycling more of our waste. “We can do it, we’ve just got to get the motivation,” she said.
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