Plastic Waste

This July saw millions of people get involved in Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July is a global movement that encourages people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

More than 8.3 million tonnes of rubbish finds its way to our oceans each year. A million tonnes of this stays in the ocean. The rest of it finds its way onto shores all over the world. This rubbish comes from both land and sea-based sources and can travel immense distances.

This rubbish in our oceans negatively impacts coral reefs, wildlife and human health.

How can we solve the ocean plastic crisis?

The CSIRO are investigating the relationship between humans and our environment. The focus is on sources and amounts of plastics around Australia and the world.

The world’s largest plastic pollution survey

They are taking on the world’s largest plastic pollution survey and working with countries across the globe to apply science to reduce the amount of litter entering our oceans.

To date, the best estimates say there are around 6-12 million metric tonnes of plastic going into the oceans each year. That works out to be around 15 shopping bags of plastic for each metre of global coastline (excluding Antarctica).

What can be done?

Every piece of plastic in our oceans started in someone’s hand. By gathering the information needed to identify sources and hotspots of debris, we can better develop effective solutions to tackle it.

Scientists, industry, government and citizen scientists can make significant strides to reduce the impact in coastal areas and in the marine environment by working together and a good start is the survey that CSIRO have developed. Here you can contribute data you collect about litter at your local beach. Just follow the link and you can contribute to this survey

More tips for reducing your impact

Together, we can contribute to the improved understanding of the types, amounts and sources of debris that arrives on Australia’s coastline. And reducing the amount of plastic we use is a good way to start!

Here are some useful tips to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste. If you have any other suggestions, then let us know!

  • Make sure you always have an eco-friendly bag in your car and handbag.

  • Purchase reusable cloth bags to use for your fruit and veggies at the supermarket – or go bag-less all together.

  • Say no to plastic straws, carry a reusable straw instead.

  • If food outlets allow it, bring your own plasticware for takeaway.

  • Buy and use your own reusable coffee cup.

  • Opt to dine in instead of taking away.