Rotary helping to solve the plastics crisis

Every person and organisation on the planet can move from being part of the conversation about plastics to being part of the solution to the crisis.

Rotary challenge: More than 12 million tonnes of plastic, everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads, end up in the world's oceans each year, according to Greenpeace.

Rotary challenge: More than 12 million tonnes of plastic, everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads, end up in the world's oceans each year, according to Greenpeace.

Plastic Free Oceans for Rotary was launched in June at the Rotary Club of Corrimal.

Rob Edwards, a Wollongong local, designed the platform and it is hoped that all of the clubs around the world will take up this simple initiative and be part of the solution to the plastics crisis.

Plastic is a hot topic and showing leadership on the issue will also increase Rotary's exposure in the community.

It's hoped the engagement with the platform will result in more people joining Rotary - as well as less plastic in the environment.

Clubs simply choose a member to sign up as their representative.

Then when planning club activities, for example a barbecue or changeover dinner, they do the simple checklist to identify practical ways to reduce waste.

It is done in a way that is not fanatical, rather "where practical" and "as best we can".

Each activity is added to the club's Page on the platform and that can be seen by all in the global Rotary community.

Clubs can also add general information, images and video to their feed to engage their community.

The platform also encourages clubs to sign up their representative to ESRAG (Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group) and to occasionally report back to the club about what Rotary is doing for the environment internationally.

Here you can see the Rotary Club of Corrimal's page, the check list and a video to see how your club can sign up and then what you can do: www.plasticfreeoceans.org/youin/inforotary/

All of us can sign up and make a simple commitment at: www.plasticfreeoceans.org/. For more information about Rotary projects, Rotary Club of Corrimal, contact Kay Mireylees, on 0403 732 505 or email mirefam101@gmail.com.

According to Greenpeace, an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic - everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads - end up in our oceans each year. That's a truck load of rubbish a minute.

Our oceans are slowly turning into a plastic soup and the effects on ocean life are chilling. Big pieces of plastic are choking and entangling turtles and seabirds and tiny pieces are clogging the stomachs of creatures who mistake it for food, from tiny zooplankton to whales.

Plastic is now entering every level of the ocean food chain and even ending up in the seafood on our plates.

If we act together now we can protect the world's precious oceans for future generations.