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.
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