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Agnes Water beach clean-up yields 50kg of rubbish in one weekend — including 67 bongs

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A beach clean-up in a popular Queensland tourist town has hauled in 50 kilograms of rubbish — including 67 bongs.

Key points:

  • Volunteers spent two hours combing Agnes Water Main Beach on Saturday
  • They collected 51kg of rubbish – and 30kg of prickle pear weed
  • Residents have raised concerns about party waste regularly being left on local beaches

Volunteers with the Discovery Coast Environment group combed a 400-metre stretch of the main beach at Agnes Water, north of Bundaberg, over two hours last weekend.

President Amber Walker said cigarette butts and plastic bags were also counted among the garbage along with bottles, milk crates, chairs, pillows and broken surfboards.

“It is holidays. Everyone’s here having a good time,” she said.

“We take stuff down to the beach to have a fun time, sometimes things get broken and it’s a little too hard for people to remember to take things with them.”

Among the haul rubbish a total of of 67 bongs were found, mostly homemade, just four weeks after another clean-up yielded 18 bongs.

The clean-up followed concerns shared on local social media groups over party rubbish and smouldering campfires frequently left behind on Agnes Water beaches.

Ms Walker said the 50kg haul of rubbish was not unusual.

“We have had hauls larger than that. But it has been some time since we had a haul that big,” she said.

The clean-up also yielded 30kg of prickly pear, a type of feral cactus that grows in sand dunes.

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Plastic bags still a problem

Ms Walker said despite moves in recent years to reduce the use of plastic bags, they were still a problem.

“People are definitely taking their stuff down to the beach in reusable bags, however we still get plastic bags that are washed down through waterways,” she said.

As to whether people were starting to get the message about disposing of rubbish properly, Ms Walker said, “not yet”.

“But all, great sustainable change does take time and education,” she said.

“It’s not a lost cause — there’s still hope yet.”

‘Put it where it belongs’

Ms Walker said people needed to take more care and attention with their waste.

“If we’re going to chuck it in the bin, make sure it actually goes in the bin,” she said.

“You know, sometimes we’ll put something in there and it will fly back out because the lid isn’t closed properly.

“Make sure you put it where it belongs.”

The next clean-up is on November 7 at Agnes Water Main Beach.

The clean-up follows residents' concerns over beaches strewn with bottles and smouldering campfires.

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