WATCH: Rock stars clean beach in Byron Bay
IN HEARTS Wake fans congregated on Byron Bay main beach ready to follow their musical heroes in a cleaning expedition which also served as a way of highlighting a broader social problem in our community.
The socially-conscious band In Hearts Wake have always gone to great pains to highlight environmental issues and none more so with their latest album 'Ark' - which focuses on how our world is made up primarily of water in the same way that our bodies are.
"Over 8000 pieces of rubbish were collected in Brisbane, over 4000 in Sydney and also in Melbourne," In Hearts Wake frontman Jake Taylor said.
"We have had 17,400 items collected with our fans," he said.
Mr Taylor said roughly about a 150 people had turned out for the clean-ups at St Kilda Beach, Bondi Beach and Captain Burke Park in Brisbane.
"It is a lot worse than I thought, especially with cigarette butts," he said.
"You see a patch of grass or a patch of sand and you start sifting through it and you start to see how many bits of plastic or cigarette butts there are and when you start collecting them all it is quite shocking.
"The fact that plastic bags take 25 years to degrade, water bottles 450 years sometimes is just insane.
"It is our way of making an impact and a change where we can
"It outlives us basically.
"Planet earth is a water planet.
"It is a blue ship floating in the middle of the ocean - that ocean being space."
Tangaroa Blue education co-ordinator Katie Grubb said beach clean-ups were very important to help raise awareness.
"Public events like this show other travellers and locals around the area that it is really important to take their rubbish away with them," Ms Grubb said.
"But we also collect the data and the data creates a picture and a story which enables us to create a proper change at the government level, at the legislative level to basically reduce the rubbish," she said.
"Because if all we ever do is clean beaches then that is all we will ever do."
Jayden Taylor, of Lismore, attended the event because he supports the band and wanted to support their clean-up initiative.
"A local band coming home to clean-up their own place - that has got to be hands down the coolest thing," he said.
Jadyen said he would also be going to the show at The Northern in Byron Bay and it would be the sixth time he had seen the band.