Dora Attard’s frustration over the amount of plastic garbage she was collecting along the beach inspired her to start Plastic Free Beach, a Facebook page designed to create awareness. But she didn’t stop there.
After collecting six-months’ worth of discarded straws, coffee cups, plastic bottles and odds and ends along the beach, Dora and her family washed and cleaned the garbage and created several art installations that she hoped to display in the neighbourhood.
She went to Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon and MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who helped her get a “music and arts” permit so she could set up the art by the beach.
Despite not getting the Woodbine Beach location she had hoped for, her tent at Balmy Beach attracted hundred of visitors, and several media outlets such as Toronto.com and Toronto Star picked up her story.
Dora, a preschool teacher, says she’s planning another garbage collection campaign next year, this one focusing on cigarette butts. “They are everywhere,” she said. “There are over 4,000 chemical toxins in those butts that get washed down to the lake. I understand that it’s everyone’s beach, but people need to take care of their own garbage and not rely on the city to do it for them. The city is not your mother.”