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Collapse Issue 475 - 05 Aug 2019Issue 475 - 05 Aug 2019
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Service NSW opens shop in Woy Woy
Pollutant trap installation delayed by asbestos find
Environment groups call for ban on polystyrene filling
Patonga hotel sold for a second time in 12 months
'Planned retreat' not understood, says residents' group
Efforts to have Half Tide Rocks walking track restored
Council adopts flying fox management strategy
Council defers consideration of draft consolidated plan
Country club seeks permission to build covered area
Government 'too slow' with roadworks, says Chamber
Gabby Greyem honoured with Paul Harris Fellowship
Ettalong businesses asked to join in Red Carpet Day
Peninsula to host Mardi Gras in October
Chamber seeks sponsors for Oyster Festival
Volunteers help with planting on National Tree Day
Community group opposes 5G proposal for Empire Bay
Contribution of outgoing president acknowledged
Association pays respects to former member
Euchre club donates to school
More than 200 people attend Naidoc celebration
Collection bin installed for animal rescue
New exchange student for Rotary club
Pearl producer expands into Hawkesbury River
Outdated Council engineering symptom of failed merger
Where have ducklings gone?
The future
Roads not keeping pace with population increase
Will councillors join our fight for our community?
Pharmacy introduces medication packing robot
Anniversaries celebrated
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Little Theatre opens third play for the year
Choir to raise funds for brain cancer
Interest sought in folk music group
Contribution to folk music recognised with award
Umina artist features in internet video
Support wanted for charity ball
Trio brings Scottish music to Woy Woy
Art competition held this month
Sophie wins scholarship for ANU
Kindergarten students celebrate 100 days
Mental health program for Year 9 students
Selected for Central Coast school showcase
Improvements made over school holidays
Make-over for library garden
Students graduate from Top Blokes program
School competes for garden set
Staff learn about effects of video games
Woy Woy suffers 133-nil rugby union defeat
Southern and Ettalong United pull further ahead
Peninsula Ducks seek softball players
Stridsman wins women's Thailand Open
Annabelle sells sweets to compete in Global Games
Surf club completes IRB competition with medals
Roberts wins third consecutive bowls singles title
Soccer club raises money for new clubhouse
Goodman retains record in super bantamweight
Basketball back at leisure centre
Charity bowlers raise $650
Ken wins first major singles title
League champion soccer teams
Thirsty Thursday bowls group celebrates

Environment groups call for ban on polystyrene filling

Environmental groups are calling for a complete ban on the sale of polystyrene filling following a catastrophic incident at Pearl Beach on July 24.

The contents spilled from a split beanbag which had apparently been left on the kerbside for a Council pick up, with the wind carrying many hundreds of polystyrene balls to the beachfront and into the water.

As word spread, Central Coast Council officers joined volunteers from Seabird Rescue and Wildlife ARC and Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch in a mammoth clean up effort.

Seabird Rescue Central Coast co-ordinator Ms Cathy Gilmore said it took a concerted effort by various organisations and individuals to collect as many of the balls as they could, with many others blowing out of reach.

"It was just about impossible for us to collect all of them," Ms Gilmore said.

"They are so light and fluffy they blow into all sorts of crevices- no matter how many people came to help we were never going to get them all.

"People might not realise how catastrophic it is when these balls blow into the water.

"They are the perfect food size for our fish and seabirds to ingest.

"It was great to see how many community members came down to help.

"But there must have been many hundreds of the balls.

"It takes a great many to fill a beanbag."

Ms Gilmore said the incident highlighted the dangers associated with the synthetic filling.

"There was a similar incident that same week in North Queensland on Magnetic Island," she said.

"I think there should be a total ban on the sale of these polystyrene balls.

"But it is also a matter of individual responsibility.

"In this case, someone had obviously put out a beanbag for Council pickup which was split.

"If people are looking to dispose of beanbags they should make sure the entire bag is enclosed in a secondary bag so there are no splits.

"And please, do not empty polystyrene balls direct into your rubbish bins.

"As the trucks collect the bins, the balls will come flying out of them."

Vanessa Heffernan, of Untrashy, which promotes alternatives to single-use plastics, seconded the call for a ban on polystyrene.

"We think it's crazy they haven't been banned," Ms Heffernan said.

"But change shouldn't rely only on things being banned.

"People need to be informed of the damage products like this can cause.

"They are too cheap and accessible and the dangers aren't acknowledged.

"Our message would be, don't buy beanbags and if you have one you want to dispose of, do it responsibly and carefully.

"At the moment there is nowhere for this polystyrene to go but landfill. It's horrendous."

Community Environment Network chair Ms Hale Adasal said the way to prevent similar incidents in the future was to concentrate on community education.

"We need to re-educate people on the effect our waste has on the natural environment - especially non bio-degradables like polystyrene," Ms Adasal said.

"We need to be accountable for the environment we share with birds and marine life.

"Everything made from now should be able to decompose in the natural environment.

"It was wonderful to see so many groups involved in the cleanup for this incident but we need to think long-term about being sustainable into the future."

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