2017 WA Beach Clean-up Report

In 2017 over 1556 volunteers turned out on beaches across Western Australia to contribute to the 13th Annual West Australian Beach Clean-Up, hosted by Tangaroa Blue Foundation with support from Keep Australia Beautiful WA. Across the state over 137 beaches and stretches of coastline were cleaned up, from easy to access
metropolitan beaches to remote locations like Dirk Hartog Island and Eyre Bird Observatory. Beautiful warm weather in the south west made for perfect conditions to be out on the beaches giving them a spring clean.

This report was supported by funding from the Western Australian NRM Program.

Editable flyer for the 2018 WA Marine Debris Project event - October 2018

2016 WA Beach Clean Up Report

This year just under 1,800 volunteers came together across 138 beach locations to remove more than 88,880 items of rubbish from our coastline as part of the 2016 West Australian Beach Clean-up. Some of the more interesting finds made around the state include half a canoe found near the Margaret River mouth, a couch found in the dunes at Leighton Beach, a brand-new selfie stick picked up on remote Deepdene Beach, black plastic resin pellets found along the North Fremantle foreshore of the Swan River, and over 500 straws found during a clean-up on the Jindalee foreshore. Big sections of rope have been found washed up along the more remote sections of coastline in the south west, and many rope fragments and microplastics have been found littering the beaches.

The West Australian Beach Clean-up received funding from the West Australian Government’s State NRM Program, supported by Royalties for Regions. Tangaroa Blue Foundation would also like to thank Keep Australia Beautiful WA, WA Department of Fisheries, Department of Parks and Wildlife and local government authorities around the state, as well as all the amazing volunteers for their ongoing support for this annual event.

West Australian Beach Clean Up Report 2015


A mild winter this year meant a little less debris encountered on the beach compared to 2014. There were exceptions with hotspots being encountered in some places and debris levels remaining high in others. The Cocos Islands, Broome Town Beach and Mindarie Marina seawall were among the exceptions.

Throughout the year a number of individuals and organisations have continued being involved in cleaning beaches and collecting data. Data collected throughout the year together with the snapshot of data provided during the October West Australian Beach Clean-up builds up a knowledge base about marine debris in WA. The value of ongoing clean-up activities is that it provides data and information to do something about the problem, and there is in effect a watch on WA beaches which improves the chances of early spotting and reporting of hazardous items, items presenting quarantine issues and other incidents such as the search for debris from missing flight MH370.

In this report we discuss how to give some focus on where we direct our activities and what those activities can be. One way of doing this is to encourage groups to form at a local or regional level to identify achievable marine debris objectives and develop responses. We are encouraging participation from community members and organisations, business, local government and NRM bodies. Some organisations are currently at this stage and our objective is to continue to support them while also assisting new groups wanting to develop a focus to their activities.

In the next section we provide a wrap up of this year’s October West Australian Beach Clean-up followed by a discussion of developing a regional focus on marine debris. Data from each NRM region is then analysed to provide a broad picture of debris types, quantities, sources and possible areas for activity. The report then provides some information on source reduction plans and concludes with an update on the watch for items from missing flight MH370.

2014 marked the tenth anniversary of the West Australian Beach Clean-Up event. This annual report has been prepared as a special edition: commemorating the efforts of the WA community and Tangaroa Blue Foundation over the past ten years; as well as analysing a decade of marine debris data to help inform forward planning for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) in Western Australia.

We would like to thank Coastwest and Keep Australia Beautiful Council - WA for their continued support for the WA Beach Clean-Up along with the thousands of volunteers and partners who have participated in this event, helping to address the marine debris issue in Western Australia.

2013 WA Marine Debris Report

Executive Summary

Storms, swells and erosion delivered large quantities of plastic debris onto Western Australian beaches during 2013. The message is clear - there is a large quantity of plastic polluting the oceans and there is a large quantity of plastic buried and embedded within the coastal system. Most of this plastic is fragmented. The long term average proportion of plastic remnants in WA clean-ups is 46%. Fishing items follow with 9%. Plastic fragments are therefore the main legacy of growing levels of plastics entering the ocean over the decades since mid-last century. Every day plastic items together with fishing items continue to be discharged into the system. Curbing this discharge is not hard in the practical sense, but it is hard in the realm of changing behaviour and overcoming complacency and inertia s report we begin with an update on several source reduction issues where these challenges are evident. The WA Beach Clean-up data summary looks at the levels of plastic fragments entering the system this year together with clean-up data from all sites. Following this in the section on the South West Marine Debris Project, data from monitoring sites is compared to data from less frequently cleaned sites along the Capes coast to explore the impact of long term clean-ups on local sites.

We would like to acknowledge our major project partners Coastwest, Keep Australia Beautiful Council – WA, The Department of Fisheries and the South West Catchments Council for their continued support of this event. Finally a big thanks to all involved for your enthusiasm, generosity and persistence.

2012 West Australian Beach Clean Up Report

The 2012 West Australian Beach Clean Up Report highlights the efforts of volunteers and partners during the annual WA Beach Clean Up held over the weekend of October 2012. See how marine debris was on your beach!

2010 South West Marine Debris Project Report
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