A HORRIFIC experience of witnessing a duck on the South Perth Foreshore strangled to death by a plastic ring led Veronica McPhail to take action.
The amateur photographer was taking pictures on the foreshore last month when she realised one of the blue billed ducks she captured had a plastic ring with a hook caught around its neck.
Ms McPhail rushed back down to the river with a friend from BirdLife WA to rescue the duck but it had died by the time they got there.
“I was horrified,” she said.
“One of the neighbours who lived nearby wadded in the water to get the dead bird out so we could make sure what it actually was around its neck.
“Unfortunately, down at the river it’s quite common practice to see things like that.
“It’s very sad because the lakes on the foreshore are teaming with wildlife but unfortunately people picnic there too and leave rubbish behind.”
The Kensington resident, who had recently holidayed in the north of England, said she had seen a ‘2 Minute Beach Clean’ board designed to prompt people to pick up litter along waterways.
Ms McPhail said it was a huge movement throughout the UK with 460 boards placed along the coastline and in Ireland with rubbish bags and grabbers for the public to use.
With the idea of bringing the movement to Perth, Ms McPhail partnered with Jason Menzies from River Guardians to place a ‘Clean our Rivers’ at Funcats Watersports near the Coode Street Jetty.
“It is a very simple concept and allows for spontaneity, anybody at any time can carry out a litter pick up,” she said.
“It’s an alternative way to picking up litter, not a replacement for organised clean ups.
“Hopefully it will be something that people will revisit and apply the principles elsewhere – making a difference two minutes at a time.”