10 Million Items Recorded in the AMDI Database

10 mill 01Tangaroa Blue Foundation reveals details of 10 million items littering our waterways and coast.
An Australian first study into the origin of rubbish in our oceans and waterways has found plastic fragments, cigarette butts and plastic lids & bottlecaps are the main contributors to pollution.

The study, which provided over 100,000 volunteer opportunities across Australia, collected 10 million items of rubbish and recorded them in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database in a bid to help save our oceans from plastic and debris.

“By understanding where this rubbish is coming from we can stop it at the source before it enters the environment,” says Heidi Taylor Managing Director of Tangaroa Blue.

“From wildlife impacts such as ingestion, entanglement and loss of habitat to potential human health impacts including ingestion through plastic contaminated fish, knowing where the rubbish in our oceans is coming from can help solve these problems.
“With so many plastic items including food packaging, drink bottles, fishing line and straws being recorded, we still have a lot of work to do and that’s why we’re putting the call out to community members to sign up.

“We’ve all heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, well there is a “garbage patch” in each of the major oceans, and the sad fact is that our community is partly responsible for that growing disaster,” Ms Taylor says.

Debris graphic LTangaroa Blue worked with an on-ground network of volunteers, communities, organisations and partners dedicated to making a large-scale positive change in Australia’s coastal environment through resourcing, support programs, and industry and government partnerships.

“We are incredibly proud of the community members, community groups, government partners, Indigenous ranger teams, school students and industry groups that have contributed tracking down the source of a lot of our 10 million items of garbage,” says Ms Taylor.

“In just 14 years the Australian Marine Debris Initiative has grown from a group of 30 volunteers in the south-west of Western Australia, to more than 100,000 volunteers and partners nationwide.

“Through volunteers recording details and the location of each of the 10 million items since 2004, we’re a lot closer to stopping the flow of litter in Australian waterways at the source.

“The removal and prevention of marine debris remains one of the major environmental issues worldwide, and together, we are making significant headway.

“By identifying the type of rubbish, we have been able to reach out to the plastic industry to address issues such as plastic resin pellet loss. This is where the small raw form of plastic finds their way into our waterways during the transportation and manufacture of plastic products.

“This discovery led to the implementation in Australia of Operation Clean Sweep, that sees the industry adopt better housekeeping and OH&S practices.