Help save our Turtle at the 2019 Ballarat Begonia Festival

22 January 2019

Central Highlands Water is once again proud to be the community partner of this year’s Ballarat Begonia Festival, March 9-12. A highlight of our calendar, the focus of this year’s lawn display is social responsibility. Specifically reducing our environmental impact by using refillable bottles instead of single use plastic ones. An issue that we have always promoted through the Be Smart Choose Tap campaign.


In an average week Australians will use 5.7 million single use plastic bottles. That equates to nearly 300 million single use plastic bottles a year, with only 36% of them being recycled. A lot of those bottles that are not recycled end up in our waterways, impacting the habitats of many local animals. The Eastern Long Neck Turtle is one such animal, which can be found in many of our rivers and lakes around the region.

To demonstrate the sheer amount of waste single use plastic bottles create, we will have our giant turtle set up on the lawn throughout the festival. Standing five metres tall, our turtle's shell will be filled with single use plastic bottles. A visual representation of the burden felt by the environment due to this plastic waste.

We encourage you all to come along and place a single use plastic bottle into its shell. Making a pledge along with us at Central Highlands Water, that instead of single use plastic bottles we all use refillable ones. A simple change, that can have a huge impact. Not only environmentally but also financially. As on average we Australians spend $680 million each year on bottled water. For the cost of 1 litre of bottled water you can have 6000 glasses of tap water.

In additional to our turtle, we are once again running our school’s artwork competition. The voting is open to the public, so come on down and see the incredible sculptures our schools create. This year’s competition asks students to create a turtle out of only recycled plastic and materials.

You can come and meet our celebrity guest River Cottage expert Paul West, as well as our Be Smart Choose Tap ambassadors.

We’ll have many activities to keep both young and old entertained. Including our Be Smart Choose Tap handball competition and demonstrations of how we can all be more environmentally sustainable. Crowd favorites Dirt Girl and Costa will be back, to show us all how to get grubby. As well as our friendly Central Highlands Water staff to answer all your water related questions.

We hope to see you there.

For more information about the festival visit or like us on Facebook.

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