Clean-up puts fo­cus on plas­tic laws

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

Al­most 330,000 pieces of rub­bish were col­lected on WA beaches by South West ini­tia­tive Tan­garoa Blue Foun­da­tion in 2018, with hopes such mon­i­tor­ing will go on to show if last year’s leg­is­la­tion against single use plas­tic bags has been ef­fec­tive.

Tan­garoa Blue is an Aus­tralian char­ity that started with beach clean-ups in the South West in 2004, be­fore spread­ing across the na­tion and through the Pa­cific.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion now helps in­form in­ter­na­tional pol­icy through the Aus­tralian Marine De­bris Ini­tia­tive, which sees ev­ery piece of de­bris col­lected en­tered into a data sys­tem al­low­ing for the anal­y­sis of ma­te­ri­als and their ori­gins.

As of 2018, the AMDI data­base sur­passed 12.5 mil­lion data points col­lected from 3000 cleanup sites Aus­tralia-wide, which have been re­spon­si­ble for re­mov­ing more than 1000 tonnes of de­bris from the en­vi­ron­ment.

Founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Heidi Tay­lor said on a global scale, such mon­i­tor­ing had changed pol­icy to­wards marine de­bris preven­tion.

“The Mar­itime Safety Au­thor­ity came to us last year and asked if laws put in place in 2013 (prevent­ing boaters to throw de­bris over­board) had re­duced waste,” she said. “We came back and said look­ing at this data anal­y­sis, there doesn’t seem to be a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease.”

On Oc­to­ber 26, The In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion pledged to ad­dress the per­sist­ing prob­lem re­vealed by the find­ings of Tan­garoa Blue and other or­gan­i­sa­tions, and adopt a new ac­tion plan to en­hance ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tion.

Surfrider Foun­da­tion mem­bers Laura Bai­ley, Law­son Arm­strong, Sholto Arm­strong, 9, Lau­ren Scan­lon, Phoebe Arm­strong, 7, and Blair Darvill team up with Tan­garoa Blue to host a clean-up day.

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