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Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary Protecting wildlife and waterways with Return and Earn

7 MAY 2024

Protecting wildlife and waterways with Return and Earn

Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing sick or injured sea animals and birds in more ways than one. With the introduction of fundraising through Return and Earn, the sanctuary is helping keep harmful plastics out of waterways where they can injure wildlife, as well as using the funds raised to protect and treat bird and sea life.

“Plastic in our waterways are big contributors to pollution, and at the sanctuary we’re rescuing animals from the waterways that are affected by plastic pollution,” said manager Tiga Cross.

Dedicated Return and Earn bins were established at the sanctuary in October 2023, with the bottles and cans returned at the nearby Coffs Container Return automated depot. So far, they’ve raised $800.

“We encourage people to collect containers at home too, not just so they can contribute them to us, but to reduce waste in general,” said Tiga.

Recently, the sanctuary was added on the Return and Earn app charity list, so anyone redeeming containers at any return point in NSW can choose to donate their refunds to Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuaruy. The sanctuary hopes this will increase the funds raised enough to support the rescue and rehabilitation of more wildlife.

“Last year we rescued and treated around 400 animals, including 200 turtles and 200 birds, and it costs about $1,000 per turtle from rescue to release,” said Tiga.

The money raised through Return and Earn is spent on medications, feeding, procedures like x-rays, other forms of care, and putting trackers on the rescued animals for further research.

Longer term the sanctuary plans to expand to treat all forms of wildlife, along with the sea life it currently cares for.