Eco Barge Clean Seas founder Libby Edge is part of a new Containers for Change campaign. Eco Barge has been named one of the faces of the scheme. Photo: Container Exchange
Eco Barge Clean Seas founder Libby Edge is part of a new Containers for Change campaign. Eco Barge has been named one of the faces of the scheme. Photo: Container Exchange

Clever Whitsunday group named face of Containers for Change

Usually ocean rubbish spells bad news for marine life, but a clever Whitsunday community group is flipping that idea on its head by turning marine debris into cash to help injured sea turtles.

Eco Barge Clean Seas collects marine debris from their environment while also running a turtle rescue program.

The eligible containers found in that marine debris are pushed back through the Containers for Change scheme to raise funds, which is why the group has just been named one of the faces of a new campaign for the scheme.

The Containers for Change scheme refunds 10 cents for every eligible container dropped at a registered container refund point across Queensland.

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Eco Barge Clean Seas founder Libby Edge said Containers for Change had helped reduce the number of containers seen in Whitsunday waters.

“I founded Eco Barge Clean Seas to go out there and clean our beaches and protect our marine life from the threat of marine debris,” she said.

“We have now removed over 206,000kg of debris from our islands.

“Thanks to the Containers for Change scheme, we have seen a dramatic reduction in empty beverage containers actually going out to sea. That’s helping us protect our marine life.

“When you see a vulnerable sea turtle come into our care and it is so sick and so touch and go, to be able to release that beautiful turtle back into the ocean – well that’s our job done right.”

Sorting through rubbish collected on an Eco Barge Clean Seas trip are volunteers (front, from left) Richard Scott, Sophie Qian, Sam Houghton and Margi Mills, project co-ordinator Fiona Broadbent, and (back) volunteers Brian Fry, Nick Beecroft, Sam King and June Whitney. Picture: Monique Preston
Sorting through rubbish collected on an Eco Barge Clean Seas trip are volunteers (front, from left) Richard Scott, Sophie Qian, Sam Houghton and Margi Mills, project co-ordinator Fiona Broadbent, and (back) volunteers Brian Fry, Nick Beecroft, Sam King and June Whitney. Picture: Monique Preston

Ms Edge is part of a new campaign for Containers for Change called ‘change makers’, including a video that was shot in Airlie Beach demonstrating the work of Eco Barge Clean Seas.

Container Exchange is the organisation that administers the scheme and chief executive Ken Noye said the work Eco Barge did showed how the scheme would help raise funds for groups and charities.

“Thousands of charities and community groups across Queensland have now raised $3.5 million in funds through the Containers for Change scheme, money that helps them carry out their important work,” Mr Noye said.

The new video series can be watched here.


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