TUROSS COASTAL LANDCARE GROUP RUBBISH COLLECTION The last working bee of 2016 for the Tuross Coastal Landcare Group was at Plantation Beach entrance area, removing weeds near the creek (storm water drain) and mending the fencing alongside the path leading to the beach. There was a lot of rubbish in and around the creek, possibly from the heavy rainfall that brought a lot of stormwater off neighbouring streets, so we added collecting rubbish to our tasks Two volunteers and two hours later 19 kg of rubbish was collected from a 25 metre stretch starting at the storm pipes at Tuross Boulevarde end. As so much rubbish was collected from the small area, it was decided to participate in the Tangaroa Blue Foundation Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI).
Using a tarpaulin as a base, every item was sorted into groups using the Tangaroa Blue Marine Debris Identification Manual which contains comprehensive checklists and images of the range of items in each class of debris; for example, there are twenty-seven types of plastics listed, with foamed plastic, (polystyrene) products listed separately. Some of the items collected included 56 plastic assorted food packaging, 126 plastic film remnants, 32 plastic bags, 47 assorted foil wrappers, plastic tile spacer set, black weed matting, a car tyre, laptop computer pieces, chunks of polystyrene, plastic and glass drink bottles, plant labels, a dummy, assorted strapping bands, underpants, a chemise, sealant cartridge, etc.
The majority of items were plastic of one form or another. The collated information was sent to Tangaroa Blue and entered on the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database. Any future rubbish collected from the same site will be entered on the Database
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, one of the major environmental issues worldwide. Heidi Taylor, a founder of Tangaroa Blue Foundation, spoke at the Marine Science Forum: “Turning the tide on trash” held in Merimbula in May last year. She explained that we cannot keep cleaning up litter and debris - we have to make real change and showed images of beaches in northern Australia were where stretches were almost solid with plastic waste. “The Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database is used to firstly identify what is impacting different sections of the coast, and then to track wherever possible where those items are coming from. Lastly stakeholders are then brought together to work on practical solutions and create source reduction plans to stop marine debris from entering our oceans in the first place” (http://www.tangaroablue.org/about-us.html) Entering brand names, serial numbers, bar codes, etc., found on debris and on the data sheets assists in tracing the source of the debris. During 2017, Tangaroa Blue Foundation is coordinating Source Reduction Plan workshops in seven council regions around Port Phillip Bay.