Plastic Trash on Port Melbourne BeachesPosted on January 25, 2012 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
Plastic debris washes up on the beaches of Port Melbourne quite regularly, especially when there is an on shore wind. Local volunteer groups and the local council spend a lot of time and effort removing this and other litter from the beaches. The beaches can look great one day then be quite bad the next with plastic bottles strewn along the high tide mark and rolling up the beach in the wind. The plastic has three sources; that which is left as litter by beach visitors, which on hot days is a lot. This source is quite obvious as the plastic is new and clean. Plastic also flows down the storm water drains, where littered plastic from the neighbouring streets has washed into the drains. These drains were made many years ago before the advent of plastic. Almost everything back then biodegraded so draining on to the beach was not so bad. Nowadays with plastic that is not biodegrading away, it just collects on the sand. The third source of plastic is that which is washed in from the ocean itself back onto the beaches, which is the biggest source. On average on 30% of plastic floats so it is very concerning that what we see on the sands is 2-3 times worse at the bottom of the bay. An article by a local newspaper recently mentioned this problem too.
The use of plastic disposable items is the main source of this debris and shows good reasons as to why we ought to be moving away from these type items. Plastic straws, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic cutlery, plates and food containers are the bulk of the trash on the beach.