Plastic reduction is in the bag

The clean up is in full swing. 168778

Earlier this year, a Source Reduction Plan was prepared for the reduction of plastic bags (and other single-use plastics) in Ocean Grove.
The plan was supported by Sustainability Victoria’s Litter Innovation Grants as well as the Tangaroa Blue Foundation. The plan was implemented by a small working group under the banner of Ocean Grove Coastcare.
A series of events are taking place to encourage the local community to reduce their plastic use, which included a beach clean up event that was held last month and an upcoming movie night.
Ocean Grove Coastcare, with support from the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, co-ordinated a beach clean up at Ocean Grove Main Beach. The event also co-incided with international Earth Day.
The purpose of the clean up was to collect and record rubbish that was found along the beach and car park areas at Main Beach.
The enthusiasm from local volunteers was excellent and 34 volunteers turned out to lend a hand. During two hours, nine full bags of rubbish that weighed around 85kg was collected.
Following the clean up, volunteers assisted Tangaroa Blue staff to sort and record the rubbish. This data was collated and has been uploaded to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. This will allow the rubbish to be monitored over time and see if there has been any improvement.
The most common items found included:
* Plastics – grocery bags, plastic drink bottles, food packaging.
* Cigarette butts.
* Polystyrene packaging.
* Glass bottles.
* Aluminium cans.
Single-use plastics have a detrimental impact on marine life. Single-use plastics include things like grocery bags, drink bottles and food packaging that are only used once and then discarded. The ocean is the last repository for rubbish, so it’s no surprise that we’re finding so much plastic along the beach. Once in the ocean, plastics break down into tiny particles that are consumed by marine life.
Ocean Grove Coastcare is hoping that through the Plastic Bag Free campaign, there will be a shift in people’s behaviours and hopefully that will result in less marine plastic debris on our beaches and in the ocean.
There will also be a film night on Thursday 22 June at Piping Hot Chick Shop and Burger Grill.
It’s hoped the event will encourage local people to participate in Plastic Free July – an international initiative to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic.
The evening will include a guest presentation by Carolyn Luder from the Tangaroa Blue Foundation. Carolyn will speak about the work of Tangaroa Blue Foundation, as well as sharing her personal insights into preparing for a month of no plastic during July.
Information about alternatives to common plastic items will be on display, as well as possible door prizes.
The night starts at 6pm for drinks, dinner and socialising. At 7pm there will be a guest speaker and film.
For more information contact Jackie on 0468 813 609 or