Ask nine-year-old Tom O'Brien from Freshwater about recycling and rubbish, and he will tell you how turtles die after they mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. "They go to eat a jellyfish, and it turns out to be a plastic bag, and they can't eat and they starve," he said on Sunday.
That's why seeing the detritus and plastic on local beaches made him sad, said Tom, who often picks up the mess left behind. "The worse (it is) .. the more it will kill animals."
Tom's mother Jenny Stokes said her son would be "crushed" if rubbish ended up in landfill especially after the family's extensive recycling efforts ranging from separating the rubbish to having worms and compost.
That's an increasing risk, said Linda Scott, the president of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and a Labor councillor and deputy mayor of the City of Sydney Council. "In the wake of China's decision to stop accepting recycling, there is a risk of it ending up in landfill unless it can be processed here."