Trash Tribe

The Trash Tribe is our signature conservation project. Every year we take groups of creative and inspiring Australians on journeys to clean up some of Australia’s most polluted beaches – these beaches are all remote, making the journey a once in a lifetime experience.

After spending a week cleaning the beach, the Tribe returns to their community and creates a project to share their experience. In this way, the Trash Tribe spreads the message of ocean pollution and plastic waste to every corner of the country.

To date, our Trash Tribe expeditions have removed 13.7 tonnes of marine pollution from the Australian coastline.


Applications Closed For Trash Tribe 2018!

check back in May for our 2019 Trash Tribe expedition application!


Join us on a 10 day expedition to clean up one of Australia’s most remote and beautiful beaches – Chilli Beach, Cape York Peninsula, QLD. On our last expedition to Chilli Beach, the Trash Tribe helped remove a massive 3.6 tonnes of ocean pollution from 6 kilometres of coastline.

We are so grateful to Patagonia Australia for funding our 2018 expedition.

Why Apply?

The coastline of Cape York Peninsula is home to some of the Australia’s most polluted beaches. Chilli Beach, halfway up the eastern coastline of the peninsula lies parallel to the Great Barrier Reef and is thriving with rich wildlife on land and in the waterways. Trash Tribe expeditions are a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this stunning part of Australia and help remove tonnes of pollution from the marine ecosystem.

Scroll down to watch our Trash Tribe film and learn more about our past expeditions and the application process!

Application process

Trash Tribe expeditions take a group of highly creative and passionate people to remote beaches around Australia that are desperately in need of some beach cleaning love and attention.

Each member of the Trash Tribe must commit to running a project when they return from the trip to share their experience and knowledge with their community – this is our way of spreading awareness of coastal pollution in remote Australia to as many pockets of the population as possible. We’re looking for project ideas that don’t just preach to the choir – projects that burst outside the eco bubble and engage people in all towns, industries, and walks of life. Think outside the box!

Volunteer spots in the Trash Tribe are limited and the application process is highly competitive.

Please note, Chilli Beach is an extremely remote location – we will be camping for the entire journey and it will be hot, stinky, and dusty. There are only drop toilets available and no showers, so you’ll need to be prepared to rough it. You will also need to bring your own tent, roll mat and sleeping bag.

To apply, please email your application addressing the following questions to

  • Who are you and why do you want to come on the Trash Tribe expedition? What inspires you? What are your passions and how does the Trash Tribe align with them?
  • What skills do you think you could contribute to the expedition? Besides beach cleaning, you’ll be expected to help cook camp meals, do water runs, and keep our camp running smoothly (running group yoga / singalongs / good vibe activities always appreciated!).
  • What project would you run when you return from the expedition to share your experience with your community? Why and how will your project reach a new and different audience?
  • Anything else you’d like to share with us?


*We prioritise travel scholarships for individuals of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, with refugee or asylum seeking experience, or applicants from complex backgrounds. If you think you might have difficulties covering your travel costs to and from Cairns, please let us know in your application.


Successful applications will be notified in late May.  No late applications will be accepted. The decisions of the judging panel are final.

The Chilli Beach expedition is run in collaboration with our friends at Tangaroa Blue.


Trash Tribe Blog Posts:




Cape York, August 2018

This year marked our third Trash Tribe Expedition! We crammed in our cars and drove the 2 days to Cape York, a large remote peninsula in far North Queensland.

The 2018 Trash Tribe expedition helped to remove 3.6 tonnes of marine debris and plastic pollution. Learn more about our experience here.


Cape York, August 2017

In August 2017, we returned to Chilli Beach on the Cape York Peninsula with a new tribe of inspiring and passionate young people.

The 2017 Trash Tribe helped removed a massive 7 tonnes of marine debris and plastic pollution off the 6.7km Chilli Beach – this was our biggest clean up achievement to date! You can read more about the clean up here.
The Chilli Beach clean up is made possible by our collaboration with Tangaroa Blue, who are supported by the Australian Government’s Improving Your Local Parks and Environment program.
Big thanks to our Brand Partners who have helped make the 2017 Chilli Beach Trash Tribe expedition possible:


Cape York, July 2015

In July 2015, we undertook our very first Trash Tribe expedition to Chilli Beach in Cape York Peninsula. Over 5 days, the tribe helped remove 3.1 tonnes of marine debris and pollution from Chilli Beach.

Projects from the 2015 expedition included film screenings, art exhibitions, published editorial pieces, events, and more!


the clean coast life

Follow our journeys along the coastline and around the world

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