The ‘Beach Clean Up’ event for Plastic Free July held on Sunday 28 July was an overwhelming success. Not only was the weather perfect, there was a fantastic turn-out with over 5o people participating including lots of local families. This was particularly encouraging as children are the next generation of little eco-warriors! It was wonderful to see how passionate and supportive the Busselton community is of protecting the beautiful shorelines and oceans. Many of the people that joined in pick up rubbish off our beaches regularly.
Volunteers picked up rubbish both east and west of the Jetty, along the beach, adjacent parklands and picnic areas along the foreshore. All rubbish collected was analysed and the results included:
* A total of 1499 pieces of rubbish were collected and analysed
* 1064 of those pieces were plastic items equating to 71% of rubbish collected was plastics!
* A staggering 644 of those items were cigarette butts.
This data will help us to effectively target cigarette butt litter as one of the main sources of pollution we have on the foreshore. All data will be added to the National Database for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative and hopefully go to producing solutions to main litter sources in the local area.
Worldwide over 70% of beach litter is some form of plastic. Most common plastic items are single use plastics such as water bottles, plastic bags, food packaging, straws and balloons. Getting out onto our beaches and along coastlines and cleaning up litter is one great way to stop this pollution from entering our oceans but stopping it getting there in the first place is also a key factor.
Plastic Free July is a global yearly challenge that encourages people to give up “single use plastics” for the month of July. It’s about creating awareness and joining together as a community to be part of the solution to reducing our plastic consumption. Small changes in our day to day habits can make a BIG difference. It might be something like switching to a reusable coffee cup instead of disposable coffee cups or saying no to plastic straws. We have some displays set up for you to have a look at to give you some ideas of ways you can reduce plastic in your life. Please after our clean up come over and take a look.