Message in a plastic bottle

Two Hands Projectis a global movement that started in Australia aiming to stop plastic pollution in our oceans.  

Co-founder PAUL SHARP takes up the story:

When I was a kid it was exciting to see a bottle on a beach, we used to race to see who could get to it first, hoping it contained a message from a marooned sailor!

Now with the advent of throwaway culture and the PET bottle, today’s kids will never know that thrill. Where children once decorated their sandcastle with sea-shells, now they use discarded bottle caps.

Plastic pollution is an ever growing problem we’ve created in the last 50 years and it’s showing itself to be a threat to ocean health rivalling over-fishing and climate change.

Approximately 80% of all human made materials we remove from the ocean are made of plastic.

Seeing evidence of plastic being ingested by sea animals and rescuing marine life impacted by plastic brought this to our attention.

Two Hands Project is one of the first organisations to recognise plastic in the environment as a pollution issue, rather than a litter problem.

Two Hands Project is a collaborative approach to dealing with plastic pollution: take 30 Minutes and Two Hands to clean up your world anytime, anywhere.

We embody the spirit of the huge national/international clean up days, only we ask, what you can do with your two hands in 30 minutes, at a location near you, on any day of the year

Our aim is to get people can do to care for the places that are near or important to them and do their bit to help at a time that suits.

We’re also harnessing the power of social media to help kick start a movement. We want to hear the results of all Two Hands activities and see what plastic pollution people remove from our beaches and parks.

We have a lot of fun with people sharing the clean ups they do while travelling, sometimes it’s a quick few pieces of plastic or a mornings blitz on a trashed beach.

In Australia alone our volunteers have moved and documented over 500,000 pieces of marine litter since we kicked off two years ago. We’ve had clean ups in over 40 countries and now have 28,000 fans on Facebook.

By presenting this information to the broader community we plan to educate, prevent, recover and dispose of marine debris and beach litter.

Make sure you like our Facebook Page Two Hands Project or tweet @2handsproject your pics and updates using the #twohands (or #2hands) hashtag. You can also share your ideas and stories on refusing plastic and how to end plastic pollution.

www.twohandsproject.org is our website

Picture: Some of the rubbish and some of our volunteers, cleaning up Australia’s beaches and coastline.

This includes a recent trip to Albany to assist seabird scientist Jennifer Lavers studying flesh footed shearwaters. These birds are heavily affected by plastic pollution, particularly on Lord Howe Island off NSW. Much of the plastic impacting them including bottle lids is coming from the Australian mainland -more than 500km away.

This experience has prompted us to renew efforts to get a national 10c refund on empty bottles to try stopping plastic being littered on our roadsides and then washed to sea via storm water.