Plastic. It’s everywhere. Australia produces almost 3 million tonnes of plastic per annum. Sadly, less than 12% is recycled.Plastic is a human-made material and a human created threat to the unique ecosystems that we rely on. Only existing in the past 60 – 70 years, plastic has invaded our daily lives. It’s strong, lightweight and inexpensive. But the same properties that make plastics so useful make them a threat to the health of your local environment. 

Unfortunately, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once. We buy, we use once and throw it away. This plastic is known as ‘single-use’ plastics and it makes up a third of the litter that plagues our streets and waterways. Used for a short period of time, single-use plastics will stay in our environment for hundreds of years, where it breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments. 

The network of rivers and its tributaries act as highways and roads for transporting plastic waste and dumping it on to riverbeds, bays and the ocean. Only rarely is this journey of plastic interrupted – if we’re fortunate the flow of plastic is collected by bandalong litter traps, if we’re unlucky it is by wildlife mistaking fragments of plastic for food. 

Yarra Riverkeepers have seen the impact of plastic first-hand. Throughout 2019 – 2020 our Yarra River Blitz events collected more than 2600 plastic bottles and 2700 plastic lids! 

Bandalong Litter Trap

What is the Yarra Plastic Paddle?

So what is the Yarra Plastic Paddle? 

Plastic bottles and their lids are one of the most common litter items in your Yarra and its surrounding parklands. 

Yarra Riverkeepers are going to collect these bottles and construct kayaks to paddle down the River. 

Organise a clean up on December 4 and help us stop the harmful cycle of plastic pollution on your Yarra! 

Organise a clean up

How to get involved

How can you join? 

1. Organise a clean up with friends and family on December 4 and help stop the harmful cycle of plastic pollution. if you register your plastic paddle clean up on our Clean Up Australia Hub Page you can receive clean up materials. 

2. Share your virtual message in a bottle saying thanks Yarra 

3. Collect plastic bottles and their lids that you find littering your local environment and drop them off at our collection points.

4. Spend a day by your Yarra, local creek or park and celebrate your local environment!

Supporters, Partners and Friends

Thank you to our partners, supporters and friends for helping with this initiative!


Clean Up Australia


Federation Square

Southgate Precinct

Supporters and Friends 

City of Yarra

Southgate Precinct

Lime Bikes



Precious Plastics

Paddy Pallin

Environment Victoria

Tangaroa Blue

Love our Street

People and Parks Foundation

Environmental Justice Australia


Contact Us
Upper catchment of the Yarra

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Follow our journey to a healthy, protected and loved river.