Microplastics have had a recent media upsurge with the Environment Minister Greg Hunt poised to follow in the USA’s footsteps and ban microbeads in beauty products. Also in the microplastics category are plastic resin pellets which are the raw material from which all moulded plastic items are made; they are slightly larger than microplastics (2-6mm), but just as dangerous to wildlife. They are mistaken for food and ingested and cannot pass through digestive tracts, leading to malnutrition and starvation.
When plastic pellets are spilt they are easily washed into stormwater drains which transport them to our natural waterways and oceans. In order to combat this issue an innovative program called Operation Clean Sweep® is being trialled in the Port Phillip Bay Catchment.