As part of her introduction, Environment and Sustainability Director Nicole Larter noted that today, 8 June, is World Oceans Day, the theme in 2023 being Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing. Nicole introduced Colleen Hughson, founder of Beach Patrol 3280, who acknowledged the local First Nations, and went on to speak about the nature of rubbish collected on our beaches.
Colleen noted that since 2017, the group had collected more than seven tonnes of rubbish from local beaches – this had been collected in more than 2500 recorded clean-ups covering more than 7000 hours of volunteer activity.
The jar in the photo contains fragments of hard plastic, broken up by wave action and deposited on the shore. This type of rubbish is the second most common with more than 351,000 pieces collected since 2017. The most common item in this period of time were nurdles, the tiny pieces of raw plastic used as a base material for other forms. Following the major spill a few years ago, more than 680,000 of these have been collected locally.
Cotton Buds rank third, with some 31,000 plastic straws left after the cotton ends wash away being collected. Lobbying action has resulted in most cotton buds now having organic straws.
Fishing ropes, nets, and related items rank fourth, followed by bottle caps fifth.
While some of all of these items are of local origin via stormwater, sewerage outfall, and general rubbish dumping, a huge proportion are as a result of passing ships.
Colleen concluded by showing a video developed for lobbying purposes.
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Colleen directed her $30 to Mosswood Wildlife, with whom Beach Patrol have co-operation in dealing with sick or injured wildlife discovered while walking beaches.
Nicole thanked Colleen for her informative and very interesting talk.