Sydney Water removes over 1 million plastic bottles from Sydney waterways each year and is now calling on customers to help with the problem.

Robert Allen, Service Delivery Officer at Sydney Water, said, “We are removing rubbish from 75 gross pollutant traps every few weeks from waterways across Sydney.

“On average we remove about 700 cubic metres or about seven tonnes of plastic bottles from our traps each year, which is the equivalent of about 2,900 wheelie bins full of plastic bottles. Placed side-to-side this number of wheelie bins would stretch for over 1km.

“Sydney Water spends about $420,000 each year removing rubbish from our gross pollutant traps and about $150,000 of this is spent just to remove and appropriately disposal of plastic bottles.

“These are the figures just for Sydney Water. Councils across Sydney are facing the same problems with similar costs to remove plastic bottles from their litter traps”, Mr Allen said.

Peter Munro, coordinator of the Mudcrabs – Cooks River Eco-volunteers said, “While we prefer that litter didn’t get into our rivers in the first place, the litter booms are removing large amounts of the floating litter, improving the health and appearance of the rivers and protecting our wildlife.”

Mr Allen said Sydney Water and the Sydney Councils can do their part to remove as much litter from waterways as possible but if residents want truly clean waterways it is up to everyone to take action.

“Sydney has some of the best drinking water in the world.  So, choosing tap water over bottled water is not only a safe choice, it’s one that can significantly reduce the number of plastic bottles being used in the first place and if everyone disposed of their rubbish correctly, it wouldn’t end up flowing into our rivers and waterways,” Mr Allen said.

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