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Western Australia

Plastic Free July!

20130702 MRTangaroa Blue were honoured to be invited to have an information stand at the Plastic Free July family afternoon held in Margaret River on 30th June. The event was a way of raising awareness of how much plastic we use and dispose of in our everyday lives and to showcase plastic free alternatives such as refillable drink bottles, reusable shopping bags, eco-friendly takeaway packaging etc. The afternoon was well attended by interested locals all with a common goal of minimising their plastic use over the month of July.

We found the afternoon a great way to raise awareness of the unfortunate end result of a world obsessed with plastic, oceans filled with it, and were happy to inspire and engage some more volunteers for the upcoming annual WA Beach Clean Up event this October. Good luck to all of those brave enough to have signed up to the Plastic Free July challenge!

World Expeditions Joins the WA Beach Clean Up!

2012 DeepdeneWorld Expeditions is one of the world's leading adventure travel companies offering ground breaking itineraries on every continent. The company has been operating small group trekking and adventure travel holidays and vacations since 1975.

They are widely recognised for ground breaking Responsible Tourism initiatives. In particular, the award winning Community Project Travel Program and as part of this program hikers are invited to help out with the 2014 WA Beach Clean Up in the stunning Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in the world-renowned Margaret River region.

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2012 West Australian Beach Clean Up Report Released

2012 WA ReportBeach cleanups during the 2012 West Australian Beach Cleanup have been met with much enthusiasm from over 1,300 volunteers who scoured over 191 kilometres of coastline over 2,643 hours. This generated 65,305 individual items of debris equating to over 4 tonnes with plastics, again dominating all debris recovered; however, overall abundance of plastics was 46% less than reported in 2011. The overall distribution of debris recovered for 2012 was sourced from marine origins in 57% of cases and 43% from terrestrial sources. Of the eight broader locations sampled, the greatest number of recovered items was from West Coast sites with 20,650 individual items weighing 1,375.1 kilograms and cigarette butts and filters being the most abundant debris, up 54% on 2011. Three sites recorded plastics hard and solid as the dominant item (South Coast, 56% increase on 2011; Western South Coast, 23% less than 2011 and Capes Coast, 60% less than 2011). Cigarette butts and filters dominated three sites (Geographe Bay, 69% increase on 2011; West Coast and Gascoyne NW and Kimberley, 37% increase on 2011). The Mid-West Coast was dominated by plastic film remnants such as plastic shopping bag fragments, which showed a 76% increase on 2011 data. Indian Ocean Island territories were dominated by plastic drink bottles accounting for a 63% decrease for the same reporting in 2011.

Download the whole report 2012 WA Beach Clean Up Report.

Floating Around for 36 Years!

201212 EllensbrookInteresting find!! This CSIRO Drift Card was found in December by Liz McGuire at Ellenbrook Beach in Western Australia as part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative monthly monitoring marine debris program. After contacting CSIRO they told us that this card was released at 33°17' south, 115°03' east, about 26 kilometres north of Cape Naturaliste on WA's south west coast on the 27th March 1976. It was one of 50 released at this point. Their records show that only 6 had been returned before this one. This type of Drift Card had been used in Tasmania, NSW and WA since the 1950s and originally offered a 30c reward for those returned to CSIRO. By the 1970s this reward had increased to 70c which is the offer for the card that was found in Ellensbrook! Might just pay for the postage to send it back to CSIRO these days!

The release was part of a science voyage carried out on the RV Sprightly as part of a study on the movement of crayfish spawn. That means that this plastic card has been out there somewhere for 36 years. Just confirms that plastics even this thin are extremely persistent in our environment.

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