You are never too young to get stuck into removing litter from our precious local waterways as a local Kindergarten demonstrated. In September 2019, two groups of four year old children from the Walker Street Community Kindergarten walked to Merri Creek in Clifton Hill where they were supplied with a litter kit and an education session from MCMC’s Waterwatch Coordinator, Julia Cirillo. More than 40 children picked up litter, mainly coming into the creek via the stormwater drains after flood waters have subsided. In just over an hours' work, children picked up 4kgs of litter. The litter consisted of plastic bag remnants (plastic bags broken into pieces), plastic drink bottles, straws and tiny pieces of plastic, also known as micro and macro plastics and polystyrene.
Children learned that the micro and macro plastics are dangerous items because aquatic animals such as ducks, fish, platypus and frogs can ingest these tiny pieces, mistakenly thinking they are food. In all, the two groups cleared up 200 metres along the creek. This is a fantastic effort from such young children! Kindergarten Director, Megan Sesta, commented “At Walker St Community Kindergarten we believe in looking after our local and wider communities and embed sustainable practices through our programs. Our children and families use the local areas along the Merri Creek, and this is one way we can give back to the wonderful environment that we live in and try to ensure it is around for generations to come.”
The children said:
"We need to look after the animals that live in the creek." - Nina
"If the animals eat plastic, they will die." - Luna
"Why do people not put rubbish in the bin?" - Madeleine
"We found lots of plastics, cans, straws and polystyrene." - Elliot
All litter information (litter data) has been loaded onto the citizen science Tangaroa blue data base. It will be used to investigate sources of litter from this part of Merri Creek and further upstream.
These sessions were possible due to funds from the City of Yarra.
If your school or Kindergarten would like to be involved in free litter clean ups or other waterway education sessions view the MCMC free waterway sessions at: https://www.mcmc.org.au/environmental-education/waterwatch/waterwatch-for-schools.