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Volunteers shift tonnes of plastic in Qld

AAP logoAAP 3/12/2016 Stuart Layt

The organiser of an initiative which has cleared tonnes of plastic from in and around Queensland's Whitsunday Islands says she couldn't have done it without an army of volunteers.

The positive work being done by volunteers is being highlighted ahead of International Volunteers day on Monday.

Mother of two Libby Edge operates the not-for-profit Eco Barge Clean Seas initiative, which organises trips to various islands in the Whitsundays to clean up debris, specifically plastic that washes up on beaches.

Ms Edge says her group co-ordinates around 800 volunteers, and they've managed to achieve a lot.

"To date, thanks to our volunteers, we've gone out to the Whitsunday islands and remove 153,000 kilos of plastic from our beautiful islands," Ms Edge told AAP.

"The islands were inundated with debris when I first started the program, and now we're on top of that marine debris and we're running a monitoring program."

Ms Edge says people who volunteer also take the experience back to the mainland with them.

"It's a massive eye opener for most of them, and when they get back they dispose of their litter correctly and they help spread the word about how damaging plastic is for our marine environment."

International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations in 1985 to highlight the valuable work done by volunteer organisations around the world.

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