Plastic bottles, cigarette butts and confectionery wrappers are flooding the Mid-West region’s waterways and beaches.
This information was gained recently after the Tangaroa Blue Foundation revealed details of the 10 million items littering our waterways and coast.
More than 2,000 volunteers and partners from the Mid-West have taken part in Tangaroa Blue’s first Australian study revealing the rubbish in our waterways and coasts.
The volunteers worked with community groups and partner organisations across the country to collect and record 10 million plastic fragments, cigarette butts, and plastic lids and bottle caps from local waterways.
“This study into the origin of rubbish in our oceans and waterways would not have been possible without the volunteers and partners from the Mid-West,” said Tangaroa Blue Managing Director Heidi Taylor.
The study, which provided more than 100,000 volunteer opportunities across Australia, helped add the 10 million items of rubbish to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database in a bid to learn more about our waste, and to help save our oceans from plastic and other debris.
“By understanding where this rubbish is coming from around the Mid-West we can help stop it at the source before it enters the environment,” said NACC Coastal and Marine Project Manager Hamish Longbottom.
“From wildlife impacts such as ingestion, entanglement, and loss of habitat, to potential human health impacts including ingestion through plastic-contaminated fish, knowing where the rubbish in our oceans is coming from can help solve these problems.
“With so many plastic items such as food packaging, drink bottles, fishing line, and straws being recorded, we still have a lot of work to do and that’s why we’re putting the call out to community members to sign up,” Hamish said.
“By identifying the types of rubbish being collected and recorded, we are able to support new initiatives like the proposed plastic shopping bag ban, and container deposit scheme in WA.”
Top 10 items recorded into the AMDI Database from clean-up activities in the Mid-West were:
1 Commercial fishing remnants (floats, pots, crate bits) 36,011 20%
2 Plastic bits and pieces (hard and solid) 21,453 12%
3 Rope (estimated length in metres) 18,161 10%
4 Rope and net scraps (less than 1 metre) 14,904 8%
5 Plastic bags (supermarket, garbage, dog poo, ice) 7,739 4%
6 Lids and tops, pump spray, flow restrictor and similar 6,555 4%
7 Plastic film remnants (bits of plastic bag, wrap, etc.) 5,548 3%
8 Foam buoys 4,703 3%
9 Plastic drink bottles (water, juice, milk, soft drink) 4,637 3%
10 Foam insulation and packaging (whole and remnants) 4,587 3%
For further information, visit: https://www.tangaroablue.org/