Scouts tackle environmental crisis

Monbulk Scouts Flynn and Ryan looking for rubbish.

Monbulk Scouts have been tackling the environmental crisis facing Port Phillip Bay as part of a two-year study on how local rubbish enters our waters.

The study formed part of the Street2Bay project, which called on Melbournians to take action and help reduce the serious threat of microplastic solution.

Over 500 scouts and leaders aged between 11-26 from 25 different participating scout groups across Melbourne took part in the project, undergoing training in systematic audit methods to record litter and microplastics.

Monbulk Scouts took to the streets, parks and reserves around the Monbulk township once every three months throughout the period, with scouts picking up various pieces of rubbish and plastics and tallying results to determine what the most common litter items were in the area.

The audit involved rubbish collection and recording data from six main zones, including retail, industrial and residential areas as well as parks, sporting fields and public buildings such as libraries and schools. Focus areas included grass strips, mulch areas, footpaths and gutters.

Assistant Patrol Leader at Monbulk Scouts, Inuka Tatton said the scouts “found more rubbish than expected”.

“I found it enjoyable, it wasn’t terrible at all. I enjoyed figuring out what is around us. It gets stuck in animals and kills them, and it’s not pretty having it around. I enjoyed knowing that I’ve done something to help,” Inuka said.

Scouts from Ferny Creek and Kallista were also part of the project, with the three Yarra Ranges scout clubs picking up 2,624 items of rubbish throughout the time.

A large 76% of rubbish categorized was found to be plastic, while 7% was metal, and polystyrene and rubber made up only 2