Market lets shoppers pay in trash instead of cash

Around 20 Seaside Scavenge events have taken place around Australia, now it's Coffs' turn.
Around 20 Seaside Scavenge events have taken place around Australia, now it's Coffs' turn. Claudia Benham & Kevin Erickson

FOR one day only, shoppers will be able purchase goods at Harbourside markets - with rubbish.

On August 13 the markets will be the site of a Seaside Scavenge where shoppers will be encouraged to clean up and use the litter as currency to purchase pre-loved clothes and goods that have been donated by the wider Coffs community.

Participants will be rewarded for every 10 pieces they collect with a token used as the currency for the pop-up seaside market.

Local businesses such as Blue Bottle Brasserie, Cafe Treeo, Palate and Ply and more have donated prizes for participants that collect the most litter, most butts, most straws, and who 'scavenge' the furthest.

There will be a number of speakers, musicians and upcycling workshops throughout the day promoting plastic-free lifestyle alternatives and marine debris pollution awareness.

Seaside Scavenge is an innovative and creative way to draw attention to the issue of littering, with over 8-13 million tonnes of rubbish dumped annually into the ocean.

With 1 billion coffee cups dumped in landfill every year in Australia, Seaside Scavenge offers local businesses the opportunity to take the Plastic-Free Pledge for the day which commits them to avoid single-use items like straws, cups, food-containers, bottles and plastic bags.

A number of local cafes have taken the pledge including Supply Speciality Coffee, The Happy Frog, Ground Earth, Split Espresso, Barista Bar Coffee, Bonnettos and Twenty46.

"Every 10 minutes, Australians send 6 tonnes of textiles into landfill. By setting up pop-up markets with goods donated by the Coffs community we want to encourage people to look beyond the price tag and go second-hand,” Seaside Scavenge founder and director Anna Jane Linke said.

For participants to earn their litter currency they must separate and sort the litter collected into recyclables and non-recyclables.

The event is taking place as part of waste education program Travelling Trash Troupe, a project between Plastic Pollution Solutions and Boomerang Bags.

Beginning at Coogee Beach in 2015, over twenty successful events have taken place between Mornington Peninsula and Magnetic Island collecting over 2,400kg of litter and donating over 2,350kg of second-hand goods.

If you wish to donate your pre-loved goods to the pop-up market, contact Seaside Scavenge through their website or Facebook page.

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