Plastic Packing Tape

BandsThe use of plastics in commercial and recreational fishing has slowly increased over recent decades on account of its durability, low production costs and lightweight nature. As a result the number of fishing related items removed during beach clean-ups is significant, with the majority being made of plastic.

In 2005, after the initial Cape to Cape Beach Clean Up, community members in Margaret River (WA) analysed data from the event to identify which items where coming from local sources, and what plans could be created to prevent this.

The first item the group decided to tackle was the plastic packing bands/tape that was being used in the WA rock lobster industry to secure bait boxes. This item was found regularly during monitoring clean-ups and poses an entanglement threat to wildlife such as sharks and seals.

10 Years of Data - is legislation working?

TapeThe reduction of strapping bands as a marine debris item is an example of a Source Reduction Plan facilitated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation involving volunteer data and state government legislation. These strapping bands are hard plastic tapes used to secure boxes on-board commercial and recreational fishing vessels. They have been common items collected on the southern half of the West Australian coastline and can cause injury to marine animals and birds if entanglement occurs, as well as adding to the overall plastic load in the ocean. A targeted Source Reduction Plan was developed, and in 2011 the Western Australian Fish Resources Management Regulations (1995) updated legislation that aimed to curb the use of plastic strapping bands used to secure bait boxes on vessels operating in west coast fisheries. Since that time strapping bands are required to be removed from bait boxes prior to boxes being loaded on-board vessels.