AMDI Partner Highlight – Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Over the past ten years, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort has been a valued contributor to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI), recently hitting an amazing milestone in their efforts to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Guests and staff have removed over 20,000 items and 578 kg of marine debris from the Island.

The AMDI Database shows the top 5 items collected over the past ten years were:

  • 8831 broken glass pieces
  • 4236 hard plastic remnants
  • 1325 plastic lids and tops 
  • 570 metal scraps and remnants
  • 419 plastic drink bottles (water, juice, milk, soft drink)
Lady Elliot Island Master Reef Guide, Jess, with marine debris items collected during beach clean-ups. (Photo credit: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort)

The source of this debris has been determined to come from the mainland or vessels. Ocean currents and wind drive this debris to the shores of the island. Every beach clean-up and data entry helps to paint an evidence-based picture of marine debris across their section of the Great Barrier Reef. Ongoing data collection and contribution also assists with evaluating the effectiveness of measures implemented to reduce the environmental impact of visitors.

The team at Lady Elliot Island have effectively facilitated regular beach clean-ups, and have also introduced a microplastic screen device. Island presentations and education programs are also conducted to highlight the marine debris issue and impacts to the environment. Lady Elliot Island is a world leading certified eco resort working to be a part of the solution to reduce marine debris. Other actions they have taken include:

  • No single use plastic bottles are sold on the island. 
  • Single use plastic has been 99% eliminated, with the recent introduction of compostable butter portions made from plant-based films. 
  • No takeaway containers, with all guests using crockery that is washed and reused. 
  • Water refill stations are available and reusable water bottles are encouraged and sold in the gift shop. 
  • An on-site composting apparatus machine “OSCA” composts all food, cardboard and green waste into soil to be used for the revegetation program.
  • Glass is crushed and sent to the mainland for reuse.
  • All waste is separated and sent back to the mainland to be recycled.
Lady Elliot Island staff and guests using the microplastics screen to sift out tiny remnants. (Photo Credit: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort)

Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay located at the southern tip of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. Situated within a highly protected ‘Green Zone’ the coral cay is a sanctuary for over 1,200 species of marine life and is known for its abundance of manta rays, turtles, an amazing array of spectacular marine life and unspoiled coral reef.

All images used in this article are credited to Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.

Published by