About Marine Debris

About MDWith 8 million tons of plastic entering the ocean every year marine debris has become one of the major environmental issues worldwide. Since the world's population, plastic production and consumption are growing exponentially there is no end in sight regarding the ever increasing amount of waste ending up in the environment and making its way into the ocean - about 75% of it being plastics. The piles of rubbish we find on beaches is only the tip of the ice/plastic-berg. It is estimated that by 2050 by weight we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean.

Since the invention of plastic in the 1950s this durable and never decomposing material has not only taken over our lives, but is also taking over our environment. Some effects such as the risk of entanglement and ingestion for wildlife, the decrease of economic value from polluted beaches in touristic areas or the hazard for human health and safety are well documented. But plastic breaks up into ever smaller pieces over time. We have just begun to understand the impacts of those microplastics and the toxins attached to them on entire ecosystems and humans. Whilst a lot of research is needed, we can assume that due to the sheer scale of the problem serious long term consequences could affect our way of life as it is already affecting the health of our oceans.

Check out our fact sheets and our video about marine debris impacts to learn more.

WA one step closer to a CDL

CDL WAWestern Australia's container deposit scheme is one step closer after new legislation was recently passed in the Western Australian Parliament that sets out the terms for how the new Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) will work.

The CDS, scheduled to begin early in 2020 will allow consumers to return empty containers used for beverage products to a refund point and receive a ten cent refund in exchange. The scheme will bring WA in line with South Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, all who have schemes in place.

The government predicts that the new container deposit scheme will help reduce litter, increase recycling throughout the state, and provide business opportunities for social enterprises and help charities and community organisations raise funds for community work. Read more here on the WA CDS.

Help Strengthen QLD's Biodiversity

Marine PestsTangaroa Blue Foundation is assisting QLD's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries by providing information on marine pests found during our beach clean-up events and we encourage our QLD volunteers and partners to also get involved. 

Completing a simple survey could play an important part in strengthening Queenslander’s marine pest biosecurity. That is why Biosecurity Queensland are asking anyone who works or enjoys time in Queensland’s magnificent marine environment to complete the online survey which is open until 29 March 2019.

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/823NMW6 

Media release: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/3/11/help-strengthen-queenslands-marine-pest-biosecurity 

Biosecurity Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/biosecurityqld/

Pictured: Asian green mussel; Harris mud crabs; Japanese seaweed.

2019 Nurdle Hunt Success!

2019 Nurdle Hunt WebRepresentatives from across the chemistry industry and supply chain showed up in force to support Operation Clean Sweep’s Great Port Phillip Bay Nurdle Hunt on February 8th.

Employees from LyondellBasell, Qenos, Covestro, BASF, Chemistry Australia, FBT Transwest and Qube pitched in alongside Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Westgate Biodiversity, Victorian EPA, Sustainability Victoria, local students and community volunteers to scour the banks of the Yarra River beneath the Westgate Bridge for plastic resin pellet (nurdle) waste. The hunt, which ran from February 8th – 10th, is a unique environmental initiative that has been especially designed to help map and reduce pollution from plastic resin pellets across the Port Phillip Bay Catchment.



AMDI App User Video

With the launch of the new Australian Marine Debris Initiative data collection app (available on both Android and Apple), we've just created a short how-to-video to help you navigate your way through the data collection process! If you have any questions about the app just send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A big thanks to Jarrod & Craig from Streamline Media for producing our video, and Brett from We-Refill for the voiceover along with funding from the Morris Family Foundation to help produce the video.

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Did you know?

Tangaroa is one of the great gods in Maori and Polynesian mythology, the God of the Ocean. One of his laws is "Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki", which means "if you look after me, I'll look after you". This guideline highlights the importance of our marine and coastal environment and encourages everyone to protect our oceans. Tangaroa Blue pays respect to the Traditional Owners on the land that we work and the Maori and Polynesian cultures from where our name originates from.

Since 2004 Tangaroa Blue volunteers and partners have been hard at work cleaning our beaches!

  • Number of clean-up sites: 3,034
  • Number of volunteers: 132,317
  • Number of tonnes removed: 1,107 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 12,945,089 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 379,125 hours
  • Number of clean-ups: 14,830