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City of Newcastle joins global fight against plastic pollution

earth day art
City of Newcastle's Director Museum Archive Libraries and Learning, Julie Baird, artist Ken O'Regan and Councillor Carol Duncan with Ken's work Fractured Sanctuary as part of Earth Day at Newcastle Museum.

City of Newcastle (CN) is helping to create a new generation of waste warriors, hosting a hands-on event at Newcastle Museum today as part of the global environmental initiative, Earth Day.


The annual awareness day, dubbed the largest civic event on Earth, activates one billion people around the world to advocate for the health of the planet.

Novocastrians of all ages turned out in force for the free event at the Museum, which featured a range of fun and educational activities based around the global theme for 2024 - Planet vs Plastics.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said CN is committed to continuing its decades-long action and advocacy to protect and improve our environment.

"It takes collective action, commitment, and leadership to safeguard the environment for the future," Cr Nelmes said.

"As a leader in this space, City of Newcastle is making change through its Climate Action Plan, Sustainable Waste Strategy and Newcastle Environment Plan.

"These strategies provide a roadmap for a sustainable Newcastle through the priority areas of climate change, nature-based solutions and the circular economy."

Chair of City of Newcastle’s Community and Culture Advisory Committee, Councillor Carol Duncan said CN was committed to championing innovation and delivering free, educational opportunities for the community.

"Every year, Australians send more than 3.2 million tonnes of plastic waste to landfill, while globally, at least 14 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually," Cr Duncan said.

"Events such as Earth Day at Newcastle Museum allow us to connect local actions with global outcomes, sparking conversations about the impact of plastics in our local and global communities to inspire a vibrant future."

Highlights of today's event included a recycled plastic art-making workshop with local artist, Ken O'Regan, inspired by his work Fractured Sanctuary, which is currently on display in the Museum's Earthball Gallery.

O'Regan used discarded everyday plastic items to create an illuminated display inspired by the rose windows of mediaeval cathedrals, the leadlight of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and the neon signage of modern commercial life.

Children's author Deb Kelly was on hand to read from her book Little Horses, which was inspired by the success of the local Seahorse Hotel Project to create habitat for the endangered White's Seahorse off the coast of Port Stephens and Newcastle.

CN's Waste Services team presented activities about the lifecycle of plastics, while visitors also enjoyed the Museum's popular science shows, craft activities and a special screening of the award-winning documentary, A Plastic Ocean, which documents the global effects of plastic pollution and highlights innovative solutions to create a cleaner ocean.


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