I’m from Hungary and I’ve been living in Sydney for the last six years. For the last 4 years, I have called Bronte my home.
My main passion is ocean photography so as you can imagine I spend most of my free time in or near the ocean, mostly alongside the Bondi to Coogee walk.
Bronte Beach and Tamarama Beach are my favourite locations and I walk there every day. These two beaches are the heart of the coastal walk which attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike. According to official data from Waverley Council, the walk brings 8000 tourists a day which is almost 3 million people a year!
Since I started following Plastic Free Bronte I have noticed more and more alarming signs of plastic pollution everywhere. Before joining the group I was naively convinced that surely no one must be using a plastic straw anymore! Now with my newly gained perspective, during short runs alongside the two beaches on weekends, I counted at least 10 people walking with a plastic cup, plastic lid, and plastic straw which quite often end up on the beach.
This made me think – why didn’t I notice this rubbish before? The answer is that, like for many of the millions of people who walk alongside the beach every day, my focus simply wasn’t there. I was walking around mesmerised by the beauty of nature just like they are, so I didn’t see it.
Although there are thousands of ocean lovers who work tirelessly to clean up the mess, it feels like a never-ending nightmare, picking up bags of rubbish daily. They clean up, but the following day it’s like nothing happened. It is like trying to empty water from a sinking boat.
I often wonder why people don’t care about the pollution. Are they bad people? Maybe they aren’t bad people, they just grew immune to it all and don’t see it. Like Neo in The Matrix, they are living in a dream world, not seeing reality until someone wakes them up.
It would be great to somehow help them to wake up & see.
I realise that nowadays it is very hard to influence someone and ask them to educate themselves. Everyone is rushing somewhere & no one has time to read and learn.
In our Instagram and Facebook addicted society, everybody is drawn to pictures because the human eye is attracted to the colours and content more than to a lengthy article or a paragraph. So I decided to use pictures as the tool used to capture attention, instead.
After taking hundreds of photos of rubbish along the Bondi to Bronte walk and designing the posters, we are now collaborating with local businesses and surf clubs who have let us place a few information boards on their property alongside the coastal walk!
I’d like to say a big thank you to the whole Plastic Free Bronte group for helping make this idea become a reality.
Also to everyone who makes conscious decisions day by day in order to keep our environment healthy and beautiful.