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Marine Debris

18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.

633 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.

Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, one of the major environmental issues worldwide. But if all we do is clean-up, that is all we will ever do.

To successfully solve the problem, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) was created, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities and organisations that contribute data from rubbish collected during beach and river clean-up events to the AMDI Database, and then work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. The AMDI helps communities look after their coastal environment by providing resources and support programs, and collaborates with industry and government to create change on a large scale.

In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean. Tangaroa made laws to protect the ocean and its sea creatures "Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki"... If you look after me, then I will look after you..." When, after a week-long clean-up event, the whales and dolphins come close to our beach and slap their flippers, we sometimes wonder if it is Tangaroa saying "thank you".

Orpheus Island Beach Clean-ups Proving Successful!

2017 OI 1Orpheus Island Beach Clean-ups Proving Successful!: signs of declining marine debris

Written by: Jesse Rheinlander (volunteer) and Vanessa Carey (coordinator)

It’s been a week since Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a team of 12 dedicated volunteers set out from Lucinda towards Orpheus Island. From November 18th to 22nd their mission was to relieve a section of the windward stretch of coast from the burden of discarded and forgotten marine debris. Upon arrival the team was greeted by staff from the Orpheus Island Research Station as well as 6 additional volunteers who were in the right place at the right time to lend a helping hand in protecting our saltwater country.

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Cigarette butts are made out of what?

Cig butt memeAs part of the Source Reduction Plan workshops that we held earlier this year around Port Phillip Bay, three local projects addressing cigarette butt litter were developed. This included surveying smokers, and we were surprised that many people didn't realise cigarette butts are actually made out of plastic. To help close this knowledge gap, we've created a few resources which you can download from our website.

Cigarette butt meme

Cigarette butt video

Thanks to everyone who got involved in the projects, to Sustainability Victoria and the 7 local government partners for their support!

Wadeye Recycling Champion Award

Wadeye 1During 2017 it was great to see so many people in Wadeye involved in the community recycling project. There are many people that work to help clean the community and support our project, and several people deserve special recognition in their efforts keeping Wadeye clean.

Richard Tcherna is the number 1 recycling champion of 2017. Richard is always walking around town with his plastic bags collecting bottles and for his amazing efforts we’d like to award him with a family size washing machine. The washing machine was kindly donated by the ENI gas plant.

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Tangaroa Blue Joins Jack Johnson Tour!

JJ BeachCleanupJack Johnson is taking his green touring to the next level by expanding plastic free initiatives in Australia and New Zealand during his upcoming tour in December! Tangaroa Blue is teaming up with Jack and his All At Once community to host beach clean-ups leading up to each concert! Jack and his crew, alongside REVERB and Green Music Australia, are working with venues to reduce single-use plastic for the shows.

As part of a Reusable Pint Program, fans can purchase a reusable pint at the show and use it each time they buy a beverage to reduce single-use plastic waste. People can also fill up their own reusable water bottles for free at the All At Once Water Stations. Venues are encouraged to get rid of straws completely or offer plastic straws “by request only” as well as provide alternatives to plastic serveware at all concessions.

Jack is also helping us to fundraise and will match dollar for dollar any donations we receive between Oct 15 - Dec 31 up to $2500US - what a great time to donate to Tangaroa Blue!

Tangaroa Blue is proud to be an All At Once Non-Profit Partner and we are coordinating beach clean-ups in each city of the tour as a way for fans to take action and enter to win free concert tickets. In addition to eliminating plastic waste at the show, fans can support plastic free initiatives by connecting with All At Once Non-Profit Partners in the Village Green. Swing by to visit us - Tangaroa Blue will be at all shows in Australia!

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What's been collected on your beach?

Check out what has been found by volunteers on beaches around Australia!

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Upcoming Clean Up Events

Did you know?

Since 2004 Tangaroa Blue volunteers and partners have been hard at work cleaning our beaches!

  • Number of clean-up sites: 2 460
  • Number of volunteers: 96 202
  • Number of tonnes removed: 852 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 9 552 117 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 242 969 hours
  • Number of clean-ups: 10 613