MICK Strichow was sick of pollution.
BRING THEM IN: Bar Beach General Store owner Mick Strichow is willing to pay customers 5¢ for every plastic container brought to him for recycling. Picture: Phil Hearne
He was also dissatisfied with the state’s recycling program, believing it provided no incentive for people to recycle bottles.
Environmentalists have been agitating for NSW to join South Australia and the Northern Territory in a 10¢ per bottle refund, but changes are yet to be made.
Mr Strichow’s solution was to start his own Cash for Containers initiative at the Bar Beach General Store that he owns.
It is designed to encourage people to clean up public places, and Mr Strichow will give 5¢ in the form of a discount on sales for every plastic container collected and taken to the store.
Before-and-after photographs of cleaned-up areas are also enough to redeem the discount.
The store will collect and dispose of the containers so residents won’t have to worry about overflowing recycling bins.
Mr Strichow has already shown his commitment to recycling. He stopped selling Coca-Cola in his store after the company fought against recycling programs in the Northern Territory. And he walks the city with a group that cleans parks and beaches – but he still felt more needed to be done.
An avid surfer, Mr Strichow is passionate about the health of the ocean. So every piece of garbage not flushed out to sea is a victory.
He launched his Cash for Containers idea on the store’s Facebook page on Wednesday, and has had positive support.
“Newcastle City Council isn’t doing enough and neither are the state or federal governments,” he said.
“I see people smoke and then throw their butts on the ground out the front of my shop and it makes me feel sick. They end up in the ocean and take a hundred years to break down.
“It’s 2013 and people still don’t think about how their actions affect other people and animals.”