Beach Plastics Survey - Clean Ocean Foundation
Plastic pollution is being found throughout oceans around the world, including our local beaches. This global issue is attracting growing concern due to its effect on marine organisms and ecosystems, and most importantly, on human health risks. Microplastics are plastic items that are smaller than 5 mm, and can have a variety of shapes such as particles or fibres. Based on their origin, they are generally divided up into primary microplastics, such as nurdles (plastic resin pellets), or secondary microplastics, such as fragments from plastic bags (film), plastic containers (hard) or fibres from textiles. There are also microbeads which are smaller than 1mm. These tiny spheres of plastic are found in personal care products such as toothpaste and exfoliants in facial scrubs and body washes. Humans are being exposed to both plastic particles and chemical additives being released from the plastic debris of consumer society. This material is fragmenting, leaching and spreading throughout the biosphere, including indoor and outdoor air, soil, and water systems. What started as a marine environmental contamination issue is in fact very much a human health issue as well. There are many pathways for plastics to enter the marine environment, sewage ocean outfalls being one of them.
The purpose of this survey is to encourage general citizen science involvement in the mapping process of plastic pollution near wastewater treatment plants along Australian coastal areas.
Your participation is voluntary and all answers will be recorded as anonymous.