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SailGP Champions, partners, and community youth lead second annual clean up of Sydney’s most polluted beach

Eco Voice
Eco Voice
First published in 2003, Eco Voice is your go-to publication for sustainability news in Australia. Eco Voice prides itself as an independent news platform with a clear focus on sustainability, with articles coming from a diverse range of contributors – all levels of government, corporations, not-for-profits, community groups, small to medium sized businesses, universities, research organisations, together with input from international sources. Eco Voice values community, conservation and commerce. Eco Voice is a media partner of the prestigious Australian Banksia Sustainability Awards – The Peak Sustainability Awards.

SailGP athletes join volunteers and representatives of KPMG and Parley for the Parley For The Oceans Beach Clean on Planespotting Beach ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney, Australia. Thursday 22nd February 2024. Photo: Simon Bruty for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP

Over 100 volunteers remove 120kg of marine debris from “The Beach (Planespotting)”

The Australia SailGP Team has joined forces with its Race For The Future partner Parley for the Oceans, Event Title Partner KPMG, SailGP athletes and other partners to deliver it’s annual beach clean up ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney. An estimated 120kg of marine debris was intercepted from the coastline of “The Beach (Planespotting)”, Sydney’s notorious hotspot for litter. 

Thanks to the efforts from Parley, the athletes and partners, the pollution collected will be sorted, processed and upcycled where possible.

Over 100 volunteers took to the beach, which included staff representatives from SailGP, Parley for the Oceans, KPMG, WLTH, youth from the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation and athletes from the Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Spain and the United States SailGP teams. The volunteers cleared rubbish made up of single-use plastics, microplastics and more, which posed huge risks to both the environment and marine life up and down the coastline. 

The beach cleanup is one of the Australia team’s initiatives for the SailGP Impact League – a sport-first, the second podium for the planet is designed to make sustainability action essential to the fabric of sport. The Impact League tracks the positive actions that SailGP teams make to reduce their overall carbon footprint to help mitigate climate change and accelerate inclusivity in sailing.

Tom Slingsby, Australia Team Driver and CEO said: “As athletes, it’s our responsibility to protect the oceans that we compete on. Teaming up with Parley for the Oceans, our partners, and our fellow SailGP athletes for our annual beach clean up reaffirms our commitment to preserving the environment for future generations. Seeing the impact of our collective efforts, with XXkg of marine debris intercepted and destined for recycling, reminds us of the power of collaboration in driving positive change.”

Eight First Nations youth from the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation took part in the clean up as part of their participation in the Australia SailGP Team and Parley’s Sail For The Ocean’s Program. The program, launched in January, saw the youth participate in Parley’s Ocean 101 education curriculum and sailing classes hosted by Australia SailGP Team athletes Nina Curtis and Tash Bryant. The program is designed to bring opportunities to communities that are historically underrepresented in both environmental and ocean sports education.

Tash Bryant, Australia Team Strategist said: “I was lucky enough to host the sailing class with the Tharawal youth in January and it’s really special to see the kids here again today, who are full of enthusiasm and determination to do their bit in helping us protect our oceans for generations to come.”

Drew Haupt, Director of Parley Australia said: “To protect our oceans, we must work together. Parley is proud to be hosting the KPMG Australia SailGP beach clean in Sydney, bringing partners together to demonstrate our commitment to eliminating plastic from our natural environment.”

Geri McMahon, KPMG Climate Change and Sustainability Partner said: “The scope of the challenges we face in transitioning to net zero, include the focus on our oceans and the link to sailing and protecting the world’s environment.”

“SailGP’s annual beach cleanup is a hands on opportunity to not only remove pollution from the sea but also to reflect on the actions we can each take in getting the world to a more positive place. KPMG is proud to be able to participate in this important event and support the broader goals of social justice, inclusion and nature positive.”

The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney will take place this weekend on 24-25 February, with thousands of fans expected to join in cheering on the Australia team as they compete against nine other rival nations. The event is proudly supported by the NSW Government’s lead agency for tourism and major events, Destination NSW. To purchase the last available tickets, visit

ABOUT SAILGP // SailGP is the world’s most exciting racing on water. The global championship features national teams battling in short, intense races at iconic stadium-style venues across the globe. The high-tech, high-speed action features sailing’s best athletes racing in identical hydrofoiling F50 catamarans, flying at speeds approaching 100 km/h. SailGP also races for a better future, championing a world powered by nature. Visit for more information.

ABOUT PARLEY // Parley for the Oceans is a new form of environmental organization that brings together creators, thinkers, and leaders across brands, governments, creative communities, and environmental groups to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. What started as a collaboration space has fast become an award-winning global movement and network with its multidisciplinary approach and Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign). Parley works to accelerate solutions to marine plastic pollution, climate change, and overfishing with operations in over 28 countries.

Parley understands current plastic is a design failure, sees the long-term solution in a Material Revolution where harmful materials such as plastic are being replaced with new and non-toxic alternatives. To catalyze awareness and fund initiatives focused on direct impact, education, material science, and eco-innovation. Parley introduced Ocean Plastic®, a catalyst material made from intercepted marine plastic waste to replace virgin plastic while raising awareness and funds that empower leaders in the sports, fashion and luxury industries to transform products into symbols of change. Under the name ‘Parley Future Material’, Parley introduces natural materials, biofabrication and green chemistry as alternatives to conventional and often harmful material standards. Parley has formed with major partners including adidas, Anheuser Busch InBev (Corona), American Express, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Republic of the Maldives, United Nations ,The World Bank, British Fashion Council; alliances and collaborations spanning the worlds of science, art, fashion, design, entertainment, sports, space and ocean exploration.

ABOUT KPMG // KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively.

KPMG firms operate in 143 countries and territories with more than 273,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities.

 KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

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