Two young sisters upset over a mass of plastic in their favourite harbour in Perth have taken matters into their own hands to help clean up the area.
Isobel, 6, and Stella, 4, from Hamilton Hill in the city’s southwest, were on their way into Fremantle when they spotted dozens of plastic items covering the water’s surface at Fishing Boat Harbour.
A place the sisters like to visit often to watch the local marine wildlife, they were quick to ask their mum Danielle if they could stay and do something about it.
“We go past lots of times when we go to Fremantle. We saw heaps of rubbish in [the harbour] where the crabs and fish live,” Isobel told Yahoo News Australia.
Their mother agreed and helped her daughters onto the rocks below to fish out the waste.
Footage shot by Danielle shows the piles of rubbish the girls pulled from the water after one hour.
“This is what we found and we don’t like it. There’s straws, plastic bottles,” Isobel can be heard saying as they assess the plastics.
Isobel said the plastic, which she sees on a regular basis, made her and her sister feel “sad” before issuing a message for those littering in the area.
“Can you please stop doing that because I don’t want the animals to die,” she asked.
While the sisters managed to pull out large amounts of plastic, including a dog poo bag, they said there was still large amounts left, mainly smaller pieces.
“There was still some small bits that the fish were eating,” Isobel revealed.
Conscious effort from the community
Danielle, who predicted the spike in plastic was due to the school holidays, said her daughters are often concerned over the amount of plastic in the water and they regularly stopped to pull rubbish out of the water.
She said the girls’ friends and their parents often discuss the affects of plastic waste and that there is a conscious effort to help out.
“I think where we live the community is quite aware and discusses it, including Bella’s friends and parents,” she told Yahoo News Australia.
“The kids have an awareness and talk about it so when they see it, they think it’s their responsibility to pick it up.”
Danielle said the masses of waste was especially upsetting considering the harbour was a protected marine area.
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She said her young family had made a conscious effort to eliminate single use plastics from their lives, and urged others to do so.
“Having some of the most incredible coastline which is relatively undamaged in WA, we have a responsibility to protect it,” she said.
She asked WA residents to take part in Environment Minister Steve Dawson’s plastics survey to shape the state government’s next steps on reducing plastic waste.
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