THERE’s a growing number of Port Stephens residents that are making an extra effort whenever they are out and about.
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These local hero’s are giving back by quietly cleaning up wherever they are.
While plogging is the fitness phenomenon that started in Sweden which combines jogging and picking up litter, around the Port you will find ploggers and those that walk rather than jog, picking up litter as they go.
These environmental warriors are simply out walking and while there making our patch of paradise a better place.
They can be seen carrying bags and implements to pick up rubbish on our beaches, roads, in our parks and even in the shallows of our waterways.
Even in an area where we pride ourselves on the environment, there is plenty of rubbish to be found.
One woman who has been walking and collecting rubbish along the way for 4 hours every other day during lockdown can be seen making her way from Shoal Bay to Nelson Bay.
Amongst the waste that she has been collecting are straws, cigarette butts, dirty nappies and even discarded bongs.
One woman who is out and about collecting rubbish on a regular basis is Shiralyn Skelton.
She was picking up waste at Nelson Bay Beach when the NOTA caught up with her.
Shiralyn Skelton told News Of The Area, “I pick up anything at all nappies, tissues, wipes, and glass, even on the beach there is also a lot of glass.
“Even with the 10c refund on bottles and cans, and I know this is not a lot, it should be enough of an incentive for people to Return and Earn rather than litter,” she said.
She hopes people will start to realise that if they litter, they will be the ones swimming in garbage.
“Ultimately what gets discarded ends up in our waterways, and in the environment.”
Shiralyn is particularly concerned about some of the items that she has been collecting around our waterway, including dirty nappies and soiled toilet paper.
“What you do goes into our drinking water, and we are going to end up drinking it,” she said.
Shiralyn would like everyone to enjoy our environment and to look after it, as a grandmother she has fears for the future and her grandchildren.
By Marian SAMPSON