More than 300 cigarettes given the flick from Black Beach

Sydney Water’s Beat the Bottle Summer Series kicked off at Black Beach, Kiama, on Saturday.

A group of 14 grassroots organisations have each been awarded a $2000 grant by Sydney Water to run their own clean up event over summer to tackle the issue of plastic waste.

The series launched with community action group Plastic Free Kiama, followed by Surfrider Foundation – a not-for-profit dedicated to preserving our oceans.

Plastic Free Kiama was awarded a Beat the Bottle environmental grant from Sydney Water, which will go towards purchasing equipment and resources to engage with the community and spread a positive message about rethinking waste and reducing our plastic footprint.

Rubbish collected included:

  • 300+ cigarettes
  • 34 bottle caps
  • 2+ kilograms of fishing debris
  • 3 kilograms of hard plastic
  • 2 kilograms of soft plastic
  • 1 dozen straws
  • 2 kilograms of broken glass
  • 1 kilogram of paper

Volunteers and members of the community were invited to meet at Black Beach and Thirroul Beach over the course of the weekend, to enjoy the tunes of performers Junkyard Beats, while picking up litter and raising awareness of the impact of plastics on our beaches, oceans, and waterways.

“Events like these are a great way to educate the public that our oceans will be healthier and our beaches cleaner if we rethink our dependence on single-use plastics and seek sustainable alternatives compatible with nature,” chairwoman of the Surfrider Foundation and president of the South Coast branch Susie Crick said. 

“We hope by involving the community during the clean-up will bring more awareness to the issue and inspire people to ‘be the change’ that they wish to see for our oceans.”

Sydney Water removes more than 1 million plastic bottles from Sydney’s waterways each year, and with summer weather attracting thousands of visitors to our beaches, it’s a timely reminder we all have a part to play in keeping our waterways plastic and litter free.

“As Australia’s largest water and wastewater service provider, Sydney Water is committed to protecting and caring for our beaches and waterways,” Sydney Water spokesperson, Jennifer Whittle said.

“We want to raise awareness that drinking tap water is a simple way we can all personally reduce our reliance on single use plastics.

“Too many Australians believe the myth that bottled water is better for them. It’s about encouraging our community to celebrate being lucky enough to live in a country where water is clean and safe water to drink.”

To learn more about the initiative and to and get involved, visit