Survey of Plastic Resin Pellets between Cape Leeuwin and Burns Beach Western Australia

Plastic resin pellets make a seasonal appearance on South West Australian beaches, showing up in autumn, increasing in numbers during winter and largely disappearing from sight in summer. In 2007 pellets were surveyed between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin and this gave a regional picture of the types and condition of pellets and their distribution. The 2008 surveys aim to widen this survey to include the Perth metropolitan area. Accordingly, a survey targeting plastic resin pellets was carried out between Quarry Bay at the South West tip of Western Australia and Burns beach on the Northern fringe of the Perth metropolitan area covering a coastal stretch in excess of 300 km. This survey was conducted between April and June 2008.


25 sites were sampled and or surveyed. (1) Data from 6 of these was then analysed. The six sites were Quarry Bay and Yallingup at each end of the capes area, Myalup Beach – about half way between the capes and Perth and 3 Metropolitan sites – Coogee Beach just South of Fremantle, Port Beach immediately North of the port entry and Burns beach at the Northern fringe of the metro area. Pellets from each site were examined for type, physical wear, staining, size and concentration. The breakdown of pellets under these headings, described below, was then expressed as a percentage of the total sample and sites were compared across the survey area.

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