Tyre recycling program risks becoming a micro-pollution disaster

A shocking one billion waste tyres are generated worldwide each year. Working out what to do with them is one of the biggest waste challenges we face today.

The Australian government is investing in solutions that shreds tyres into ‘rubber crumb’ to build playground surfaces and infill artificial turf. Unfortunately, this is not the solution it seems.

A new study shows rubber crumb playgrounds release an estimated 1.2 million crumbs on average into the immediate environment, while other research suggests tyre chemicals may have toxic health effects on both marine and human life. Experts warn immediate steps are needed to ensure government-endorsed recycling programs don’t solve a problem, while quietly causing another.

Review the ReefClean AUSMAP Rubber Crumb Loss Assessment Report

Review the Rubber Crumb Impact Report

Take Action:

– Email the Australian Government’s Minister for the Environment at stewardship.list@awe.gov.au requesting a review of federal government funding into the Tyre Stewardship Australia’s rubber crumb recycling program until thorough research into human health and environmental harm has been conducted.

– Send a letter to your local Councillor telling them why they should use organic materials like sand for playgrounds and to infill artificial turf in your local area.

– Take a photo showing any degraded rubber crumb park surfaces in your area and post to @Tangaroa Blue on Facebook or Instagram. Also tag #AMDI and #RubberCrumbFail to showcase how this issue is impacting the environment across Australia.

Ten years of citizen science data from the AMDI Database has informed a UNSW study

Plastic is 84 per cent of all rubbish found across Australian beaches, a UNSW-led study based on the data from the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database, has found.

“The AMDI Database contains entries of beach clean-ups across Australia, but the added value of this database is that volunteers take the time to categorise what they find, sorting and counting the amounts of plastic, glass, rubber, metal, paper and other items,” study lead author and PhD candidate, Jordan Gacutan from UNSW Science’s Centre for Marine Science and Innovation in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, says.

More than 2000 organisations and 150,000 citizen scientists have participated in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative by sorting and tallying up marine debris they have collected since it was set up by the not-for-profit Tangaroa Blue Foundation in 2004.

“We can combine this rich data over space and time to get patterns of the marine debris and plastic problem across Australia.

“This study shows, with unprecedented resolution, the variation in debris items both regionally and across Australia.”

Study co-author and Dean of UNSW Science, Professor Emma Johnston, says very few environmental stresses are able to be measured on a national scale.

Read more about the study here.

Access the full article here.

WA Beach Clean-up Site Registration Form

Good on you! We are so pleased to have you join the fun by registering your own site for the WA Beach Clean-up. Please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

WA Beach Clean-Up 2021 Launched!

Our annual west coast event is fast approaching and it’s shaping up to be another really successful campaign for Tangaroa Blue Foundation!! For those of you who missed the official WA Beach Clean-Up report for 2020, here is a snapshot of the key successes. We hope to increase our impact this year and keep building on these numbers. Thank you to everyone who has participated in this event so far and for your interest again this year.

Register your clean-up site here!

Check out the clean-up sites registered so far… can you fill in the gaps?

We have recently welcomed WA Regional Project Coordinator Casey Woodward to the team, who is based in the South West. Together with Dan Burns in Perth, they are working to increase the beaches and waterways covered and are both really looking forward to connecting to the communities that care for the wild shores of Western Australia over the 15th-18th October weekend.

Alongside our partner Keep Australia Beautiful WA, we are welcoming Custom builder Tallwood Constructions to our corporate donor base. Their generous contribution provides valuable funding to the WA Beach Clean-Up for 2021 and we are proud to be growing our capacity in Western Australia, with their help. We will share more about these partners throughout the campaign.

We are also getting together some incredible prizes to be offered up to volunteers across the state to thank you for your hard work and dedication to keeping our oceans and waterways debris free!

If anyone has any questions or requires further information regarding this event, please feel free to reach out to casey@tangaroablue.org.

Join ReefClean’s 2021 Great Barrier Reef Clean-up!

Join ReefClean’s Great Barrier Reef Clean-up!

Are you a citizen scientist who is concerned about the health of the Great Barrier Reef? Maybe a school or community group who would like to monitor the health of the Great Barrier Reef? Or are you a  member of the local government, and would like to lead by example by becoming actively involved in contributing to the overall health of one of the most biologically diverse environments on this planet? Well then continue reading!

This October marks the start of our month-long series of events that focus on looking after our Reef. Tangaroa Blue Foundation, through the ReefClean Project is calling all ocean lovers to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up. A number of flagship events will be held over the course of the month in the following locations:

  • Kurrimine Beach, Cassowary Coast Region. Saturday, 2/10/2021, 8.30am-12pm. More info
  • Pallarenda Beach, Townsville, Friday, 1/10/2021, 9am-2pm. More info
  • Farnborough – Bangalee Beach, Yeppoon. Saturday, 2/10/2021, 9am-1pm. More info
  • Conway Beach, Whitsundays. Saturday, 2/10/2021, 1-5pm. More info
  • Innes Park, Bundaberg. Saturday, 23/10/2021, 8.30am-12pm. More info
  • Ross Creek, Townsville. Saturday 16/10/2021, 8am-12pm. More info

 To volunteer at a Flagship location, please click here.

This coming October will be our third year coordinating the Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up month! Ocean lovers from all over the GBR have generously contributed just over 9,000 hours of their time which has resulted in just under 14 tonnes of debris removed during the previous GBRCU events in October.

The Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up is not limited to these flagship events, so make sure you monitor our events for more opportunities to get involved! The program also invites groups to adopt and register their own coastal or waterway sites to be cleaned throughout the month, so if you know of a site in your area that needs attention, we encourage you to register that site and get a group together.

Click here to register your own site.

ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation in partnership with AUSMAP, Capricornia Catchments, Eco Barge Clean Seas, OceanWatch Australia, Reef Check Australia, and South Cape York Catchments.

Join the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up today!

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