ABC NEWS – Two anti-plastic warriors from Cairns are set to kayak almost 2,000km from Alaska to Canada next year to bring awareness to the devastating impacts of waste on the environment.
Lucy Graham and Mathilde Gordon met four years ago through a sustainability club at James Cook University.
It spurred them to start volunteering with the Australian group, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, spending days cleaning up beaches in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and on the Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland.
“It really blew me away how much rubbish there was on the beach,” Ms Gordon said.
“We were picking up usual things like toothbrushes, lighters, food wraps and bottles — everything that I use in my everyday life.
“I was kind of getting angry at it.”
The two friends now both adhere to single-use plastic free lives, meaning they don’t use items like disposable strawss at cafes, shopping bags or takeaway food containers.
Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste is washed into the ocean each year, according to research published in the journal Science.
Australians generate a staggering 13,888 tonnes of plastic litter every year — and about a quarter of that ends up in the ocean.