A striking giant fish sculpture made from recycled beverage containers has beached in Brisbane’s King George Square today to raise awareness of Queensland’s container refund scheme, which starts in 11 days (November 1).
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the sculpture, titled Queensland, Look at the State we’re in was created to highlight the environmental need to introduce the recycling scheme and reduce the amount of waste entering the environment.
“It’s not long now until November 1, when Queenslanders will be able to get 10 cents back for every container they return, or choose to give the containers to a charity or community organisation,” Ms Enoch said.
“Queenslanders used close to three billion containers per year and laid end-to-end, those containers would stretch around the world roughly 10 times.
“Sadly, containers are the second most commonly littered item, despite the fact they can be easily recycled.
“When containers are littered on land, they can make their way into our drains and creeks, and ultimately reach the ocean.
“We need to protect our environment from plastic pollution.
“Plastic bottles are used every day by so many of us. It’s time to do something about plastic pollution, and in 11 days’ time, Containers for Change will help Queensland do just that.”
Ms Enoch said the fish sculpture helped highlight the enormous amount of plastic that Queenslanders use.
“Come November 1, all of these bottles will have financial value for every Queenslander.
“This is the very beginning of the scheme and as more Queenslanders participate and the scheme grows, we expect more and more refund sites will be established across the state.”
Alby Taylor, Acting Chair of Container Exchange, the not for profit organisation delivering the scheme, said it was important that Queenslanders understood the problem the scheme is trying to fix.
“This sculpture is a clear demonstration of how much waste is in our waterways – through implementing the Containers for Change scheme we will see litter reduce in our oceans, rivers and creeks and recycling increase,” Mr Taylor said.
Mackay artist and conservationist David Day was commissioned by Containers for Change to design the giant sculpture.
Mr Day lives on the beach at Shoal Point in Mackay and sees the direct consequence litter has on the shores, influencing his work over the last five years to shine a spotlight on marine conservation.
“I usually make my art forms from marine debris, and most of the time plastic containers are the most easily found,” Mr Day said.
“I am very honoured to have been chosen as the artist to design this sculpture. By making a large-scale fish using this waste, I hope to emphasise the importance of taking better care of our State and taking part in this exciting new recycling scheme.”
For more information, visit containersforchange.com.au (external site) or phone 13 42 42.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch