A sit-down with Clean Coast Collective

Clean Coast Collective cast away

Clean Coast Collective

The Salty Folk x Wonderland Escapes

This article is for the ocean lovers. For anyone who loves the outdoors and is interested in keeping our beautiful world clean. A new and exciting venture is rapidly growing throughout Australia and it’ name is Clean Coast Collective. With a strong message and creative approach to life, this Aussie grown organisation is passionate about keeping our beaches clean. WE were lucky enough to interview founder Natalie Woods and here’s what she had to say:


If you could describe Clean Coast Collective in one line what would it be?

A social enterprise and lifestyle brand that lives and breathes ocean protection — we live a life that revolves around the ocean and protects is daily.


What inspired you to start Clean Coast Collective?

CCC was born after weekends spent hiking into remote sections of the NSW South Coast. We were in search of an escape from the crowds and that feeling of being fully immersed in nature.

On these hikes, we started to notice that we were seeing more rubbish than we would often find along urban beaches. We decided to look into the issue and learnt that marine debris is a global problem, that it’s getting worse and that it threatens everything we love about the coastline.

We realised that we had been completely clueless to this massive issue threatening our oceans and we couldn’t believe that none of our surfing circles knew anything about it. We lived and breathed saltwater — how could we now have known about this?!

Clean Coast Collective was created to share the knowledge of this issue and inspire all surfers, swimmers and beachgoers to start living a lifestyle that helps protect our seas.

Clean Coast Collective


Where do you see Clean Coast Collective heading?

We see CCC becoming a organisation that contributes to the issue of marine debris in multiple ways. Though youthful and creative campaigns, collaboration with businesses and marine debris expeditions.

In Summer 2016/17 we’ll be releasing a range of products to help people ditch disposable and single-use plastics, reducing the amount of waste that could potentially end up in our oceans. All profits from the sale of these products will go towards our clean up expeditions and awareness campaigns.

We’re super excited about the future of CCC.


What is some of the worst rubbish you’ve found littering our coastlines?

Rubbish differs depending on many factors — what development is around that area of the coastline and what currents and shipping lanes are offshore.

On urban beaches we find vast amounts of everyday litter; straws, coffee cups, cigarette butts and plastic wrappers. It’s incredible the amounts of these items we find and the devastating impact they can have. Cigarette butts are by far the worst, they’re small, annoying to pick up, and their toxins are potent enough to pollute over 7 litres of water.

In remote areas, we find larger and more foreign items washing ashore with plastic bottles and bottle caps being the most common.

We’ve found some pretty toxic items like gas bottles from China, bleach bottles, and containers of used syringes.

It gets dirty at times but provides good motivations for us to change our personal consumption habits and to continue our work.



How do you fund your clean up excursions?

We currently fund our clean up excursions using a combination of our personal funds, grants, donations and revenue from t-shirt sales. In the future we hope to become more financially self-sufficient through the expansion of our lifestyle products.


What is the most beautiful place your company has visited so far?

It’s so hard to choose! We were lucky enough to travel around the entire Australia coastline on our Trash Surfari expedition — what a beautiful and diverse country we live in!

Some of the standouts are Cape Leveque north of Broome, Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria, and of course we have a soft spot for the wild tropics of Cape York Peninsula.

Clean Coast Collective photo 3

How can everyday people get involved and help with your mission?

The best first step is to consider the waste you create in your daily life — ask yourself what plastic items are unnecessarily in our life. The takeaway food container that you used for 5 minutes or the plastic straw that came with your gin and tonic. These items were mere flashes in the timeline of our lives and yet each one of them will exist for long after we have discarded it. Our waste will continue to damage our environment long after we’ve left.

Become aware of the waste you create and you will become empowered to make change.

If that’s not enough for you and you want to do more, we hold regular beach clean-ups to remove waste from beaches and waterways. You can jump on our website to find the next event. No events in your town? Get in touch and we’ll let you know which clean up groups are working near you.

If you run a business, or want to see change in the business your work at, send us an email and we can provide options for reducing your waste.


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Where do you plan to go in the near future?

We’re currently touring the East Coast with Stone & Wood as part of their Festival of the Stone tour. From Hobart to Noosa, we’ll be holding clean ups and after parties to get to know the locals and share some good vibes. The first run of the tour events have been absolutely amazing, with local musicians and chefs provided excellent tunes and treats.

There are still a few events to go until the end of the tour so jump on the website and come join us!


What do you think is sustainable living?

It’s all about low impact lifestyles.

How much do we really need to be comfortable and happy?

Sustainable living is really simple if you can narrow down your life to the things that you really need and making small changes to our lifestyles. Carry a re-usable cup or water bottle, reject plastic straws or opt for paper straws. There’s so many rewarding ways to cut plastic from our lives.

Sustainable living isn’t about being a ‘greenie’, it’s about living your life the way you want to — but just making simple changes and smart choices to reduce your impact on our environment.
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