Every month there is a new scientific report on the extent of the problem of plastic pollution and how it is harming the marine environment and entering the human food chain - 90% of all seabirds have ingested plastic; corals mistake microplastic for food; and fish and sea salt contain plastic.
Most of the plastic in our near oceans comes from our activity – whether litter (bottles and bags breaking up); flushed down our sewerage system as microbeads and clothes fibres; waste from plastic manufacturing plants; and other sources such as paint and cigarette butts. While bodies such as the CSIRO can report on visible plastic pollution – 124 billion pieces have been found as litter along our coasts – microplastic is far larger by orders of magnitude and it grows each year as the legacy plastic does not go away.
We estimate that 70% of future marine plastic pollution can be eliminated by taking four steps:
- Introduce a container deposit scheme
- Ban all single use plastic bags
- Remove microbeads from personal care and laundry products
- Ensure plastic producers prevent pollution leaving their premises
The issue is beginning to be discussed at state and federal government levels. There is also a Senate Inquiry that will report next year. The Boomerang Alliance has just released a major report outlining the extent of the problem to assist decision makers.
We are calling on all MPs and councils to take action by:
- Urging governments to implement effective policies
- Making a public statement about the need for solutions
We hope you will find the infographic a useful tool in any efforts you can take; and please share it.