Port Stephens Koalas partners with Return and Earn and TOMRA Cleanway to raise much needed funds while reducing litter

Erica Johnstone, PSK Curator, with Nifty Latty – a joey with wet bottom, an affliction that is dangerous for koalas.


PORT Stephens Koalas has partnered with Return and Earn and TOMRA Cleanway to raise money to support the local koala population while keeping the region clean.

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The charity is a donation partner of the container deposit scheme, and currently features on two TOMRA Cleanaway Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) in the local area.

This means customers using the RVMs to return empty bottles, cans and cartons can directly allocate their 10c refunds to supporting sick and injured koalas.

$2,000 has already been raised through the RVMs, which equates to 20,000 containers returned, and saved from landfill or the litter stream – and these environmental benefits are also important for koalas.

“Our environment is first and foremost when it comes to protecting koalas – whether it be loss of habitat through over-development, drought or bush fires,” said Christine Johnson, Local Fundraising Coordinator for Port Stephens Koalas.

“When glass and plastic litter are discarded in the environment, it can sometimes take hundreds or even thousands of years to break down.

“No matter where this occurs it can have a negative impact on the survival of wildlife.”

Port Stephens locals keen to direct their container refunds to Port Stephens Koalas, can rest assured their donations are put to good use.

“Funds raised make it possible to provide veterinary medications and tests for the koalas, as well as intensive care and rehabilitation facilities where needed,” says Christine.

She added that donations also help fund education campaigns, support scientific research, and buy and plant koala food tree plantations.

“All donations ultimately help to ensure we have a safe, healthy koala population in Port Stephens for generations to come,” she said.

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