Nippers turning the tide: getting plastic off our beaches for good

| February 26, 2018

A new campaign from Surf Life Saving NSW and Clean Oceans Australia has been launched this February to engage Nippers in getting plastics off our beaches.

Plastic waste and garbage in our oceans is a huge environmental challenge and engaging ocean lovers when they are young with education and resources to change their behaviour is at the heart of the campaign.

“It’s estimated three million PET bottles and cans are being consumed every season at clubs around Australia, with none being recycled and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of how much plastic we’re seeing every day from all beach users,” said Brett Pattinson, Clean Oceans Spokesperson.

“The problem is a lot of this plastic ends up in our oceans, damaging the natural environment and killing marine life – and some of these plastics will literally take hundreds of years to degrade in the ocean if they will ever go away at all”, said George Sabados, Clean Oceans Spokesperson.

The campaign will be piloted through the Nippers program across the Surf Life Saving Clubs in NSW; Bondi, Coogee, Clovelly and North Cronulla.

“For Nippers our beaches and the ocean are our ‘home’ and we want to ensure they are both kept pristine for everybody to enjoy now and for the future. What Clean Oceans is doing for all our kids, parents and members will go a long way to ensuring this takes place.” Doug Hawkins -Sydney Branch President SLSA

Nipper’s will be provided with a reusable drinking bottle, education materials to learn more about plastics and their effect on the environment, plus how to reduce plastic use.

In addition, the three pilot clubs will receive recycling and waste bins, portable refilling water stations, reverse vending machines to further incentivise recycling and special clean-up activities.

“There is a broader goal here that we are working towards, post our pilot, we hope to expand this program through more Surf Life Saving Clubs in NSW and around Australia, in the aim of working with the local community and Government to ban all plastics on beaches with a Surf Life Saving Club by 2020,” said Mr Pattinson.

“Surf Life Saving Clubs are a huge part of Australian Beach culture and also a large network of people in Australia that deeply care about our oceans, and we’re hoping by engaging this community that there will be significant gains made to raise awareness of the need to reduce plastic use and also to all do our part of keep our oceans clean,” he added.

For more information or how to get involved go to