The Ocean Grove Coastcare group drove this local source reduction plan to reduce single use plastic bag litter entering the marine environment at Ocean Grove. A number of tactics were harnessed to reduce this local problem item. Starting with a clean-up on Earth Day (22 April 2017), 90 single use plastic bags were recovered from Ocean Grove Main Beach, including shopping bags and dog poo bags. This evidence was entered into the Australian Marine Debris Database, and used throughout the project to showcase the issue in a local context.
Next, a community screening of the movie Mission Blue was shown as a community education tool about the issue of plastics and marine debris, as well as to promote Plastic Free July. Carolyn Luder of Tangaroa Blue Foundation presented on Plastic Free July and opportunities to participate. Approximately 50 people attended the event, and attendees made pledges to give up common plastic items for the month.
The campaign of community education and awareness is ongoing, the next will be to create posters for businesses, encouraging alternatives to single use plastic bags. This project was made possible by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group, Ocean Grove Coastcare, Barwon Coast Committee of Management, City of Greater Geelong, Bellarine Catchment Network and Ocean Grove Rotary.
This Source Reduction Plan workshop was funded through Sustainability Victoria’s Litter Innovation Fund.