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Microplastics in the Thousands at Aireys Inlet

20120910-Microplastics-Aireys-InletStudents from St Bernard's College Santa Monica Campus were out on the beach again as part of their marine debris monitoring program at Aireys Inlet, and over the last two clean ups we have concentrated on picking up as many small pieces of plastic as we can from the Estuary of the Painkalac Creek at Aireys Inlet.

Data from July and August were combined onto the one data sheet as conditions were virtually identical both days and we covered the same 100 metres of the estuary.

We were principally looking for small pieces of plastic caught up in the seagrass and along the high tide mark and the totals found again highlighted the way plastics continually break down in the ocean environment.

An astounding 4789 pieces collected over the two visits each a month apart, from just 100m of beach. This included 3512 broken down bits of hard plastic, 950 pieces of foam cups and food packaging, 78 straws and 48 lids and bottletops.

The removal of these small bits of debris are vitally important, as it is marine debris of this size that can be easily ingested by marine life and seabirds.

Well done to all the boys involved in the clean ups!