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Media Releases

The good, "bag" and ugly - the big clean-ups in 2015

Fitzroy 42015 provided us with more big clean-ups than ever before! The good news: Thanks to additional funding through the Everyone's Environment Grant and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority we were able to run more events in Cape York than in any other year: Apart from our "old friends" Mapoon, Captain Billy's Landing and Chilli Beach we visited Cape Bedford just north of Cooktown twice, cleaned Port Stewart with the help of the Lama Lama Junior Rangers, and added another new site: Somerset at the very tip of Australia to the calendar. In 4 short months we pulled over 17 tons of debris from Cape York beaches!

For the 11th year we also ran the Western Australian Nyul Nyul RangersBeach Clean-up with the support of Coastwest & Keep Australia Beautiful Council WA. Our WA volunteers are definitely experts in removing and documenting rubbish by now. This year volunteers cleaned over 206km and removed over 4.2 tonnes from between Beagal Bay (see photo of Nyul Nyul Rangers) all the way down to Esperance and across to Cocos Island!

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Australia’s coastline is 5 million items cleaner

5mill items insta v1Australia’s beaches are 5 million items cleaner! What started as an individual quest to protect the ocean has evolved into Australia’s leading marine debris organisation having reached a significant milestone today.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation established the Australian Marine Debris Initiative in 2004 to capture what was found during community beach clean-ups.

Heidi Taylor, co-founder of Tangaroa Blue Foundation said that the once small group of commuity volunteers recognised that if all they do is clean-up the beach and not record what was found, that is all they’ll ever do as they’ll never know why, what, where and when marine debris and beach litter occurs along Australia’s coastline.

“The Australian Marine Debris Initiative has since provided a unique platform for community, government and industry to work together to reduce marine debris along Australia’s coastline”, said Ms Taylor.

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How to run a beach clean-up video

To help out volunteers around the country Tangaroa Blue Foundation has joined forces with the WA State NRM Office and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to create a series of 5 educational videos on marine debris and how to get involved in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

If you are keen to run your own beach / river clean-ups check out this video for hints and tips on how to make it fun and do it safely.

A huge thank you to all the stars of the video, to Christian Miller - our amazing photographer and editor and to the WA State NRM Office and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for funding this program.

Video 1 - What is marine debris?

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Federal & state government debating source reduction strategies

container deposit newsletterWhilst everyone can contribute to a cleaner environment on a small scale, changes in legislation are a way of pushing and enforcing a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle on a large scale. Tangaroa Blue is involved in various projects on a government level to reduce the occurrence of marine debris, one of them being the Marine Debris Threat Abatement Plan: This document formulates ways to address, reduce and solve the problem on a national level.

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What's in your body wash?

Good scrub guide newsletterWhilst marine debris is a relatively new branch of research, the problem of microplastics, pieces of <5mm, is an even more recent part of the topic. Not only do these tiny pieces of plastic accumulate up to 1 million more toxins than the surrounding sea water, but when ingested by plankton they make their way into the marine food chain.

One source of microplastics are the microbeads in many face scrubs, toothpastes and body washes. Too small to get filtered by sewage plants, microbeads make their way down your drain straight into the ocean. However, washing your body microbead free has been made easy with the use of the "Good Scrub Guide" published by Fauna & Flora International.

The document lists countless products (of different price ranges) that are free from solid microplastic ingredients and champions those brands that produce plastic free products. You can also check out the free Beat the Microbead smart phone app that lets you scan a product's barcode to see if it contains plastic. Simply tap to download, select your region and get scanning!