Kane Durrant's goal was to encourage his family and gather the local community to collect rubbish from nearby wetlands, which were littered with plastic bags, take-away containers and discarded bottles and cans. The introduction of the “Return and Earn” container deposit scheme in New South Wales in December 2017, whereby recyclers are refunded 10 cents for every empty drink container returned, added an extra incentive to clean up the area.
A kick start to clean up
“It was actually the Return and Earn scheme that motivated us to start Clean Up The Wild,” explains Kane Durrant of his community campaign. “We can take the eligible containers and we can refund them, get the 10 cents per eligible container, and we can save that up and actually donate it to wildlife conservation.”
The Durrant family and the team of Clean Up The Wild volunteers take their containers to TOMRA reverse vending machines, which are located at hundreds of collection points across New South Wales, for fast and easy returns. Together with Australian waste management company Cleanaway, TOMRA is the network operator for the state’s container deposit scheme.
“So, my hopes are that we can keep running Clean Up The Wild and that more and more people will join us. And, then, maybe one day I’ll jump online and it’s reached somewhere overseas, and everybody’s cleaning up the wild – and know we helped to start something that’s going to make the planet a better place.”