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Marine polluting plastics in the firing line with NSW action

microbeadsEnvironment groups campaigning to protect the health of the marine environment and the food chain today welcomed the action by NSW Environment Minister, Rob Stokes to nationally ban plastic micro-beads.

The battle to clean up the oceans of ever-expanding soup-like plastic pollution is worldwide and Australia, with its extensive coastline has an important role to play, the groups said.

Jeff Angel, Executive Director, Total Environment Centre said: "Plastic pollution of the oceans, beaches and marine food chain damages what every Australian values about our beautiful environment. Action does need to be taken and we call on industry to fully cooperate with Environment Minister Stokes on the micro-plastics. Many companies are already moving on this and there are ready alternatives.

By getting industry together, rather than wading through lengthy inter-governmental processes, we should be able to quickly phase out these pollutants. We should also move onto plastic bags and drink containers."

Heidi Taylor, Founder, Tangaroa Blue, Australian Marine Debris Initiative said: "Nationally more than 75% of marine debris collected for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative is plastic; and in some cases as high as 94%. So this decision would help reduce the plastic load entering the marine environment, but it's one step of many - including the reduction of single-use plastic, container deposit legislation and extended producer responsibility for the end-life of packaging - that need to be implemented to really address the levels of plastic pollution in the ocean."