Australia’s beaches where the most plastic was revealed


The world’s first citizen science project reveals Australia’s finest plastic beaches. This is after nearly 800 trained volunteers have collected at least 3 million pieces of plastic from more than 300 beaches in a longitudinal research project.

“This is the most important data we have on the extent and impact of microplastics in Australian waterways,” said Littermate and Microplastic Leader, Australia’s Microplastics Assessment Project (AUSMAP). ) Research Director Scott Wilson said.

Data is sent interactively map It displays the type and amount of plastic and allows visitors to search for their favorite beaches and find beaches with low levels of pollution.

Around Sydney, Manly Cove and Cook Park along Ramsgate Beach used the highest levels of microplastic, with 4,051 and 1,039 debris per square meter, respectively. Bondi Beach was less than 100, but Dee Why, Tamarama and Bronte Beach all worked much better with about 5 microplastics per square meter.

Microplastic
Collecting and recording microplastics involves installing a square frame, scooping up a few centimeters above the sand in it, and then sieving. (AUSMAP / included)

Wilson, a senior researcher at the Faculty of Global Environmental Sciences, said Australia’s vast coastline makes us particularly vulnerable to microplastics.

“We know that there is a major problem with plastic pollution invading ocean currents, but one of the main discoveries revealed by this project is that most of the coastline microplastics come from catchments in the area. That’s what Wilson said.

Plastic pollution is a growing environmental problem, and microplastics (small plastic particles less than 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter) are the largest because they are consumed by marine animals due to their small size and often enter the food chain. There is a danger of. ..

Microplastic Plastic Pollution Australia Beach
Plastic collected at Brighton Beach, South Australia on September 1, 2021. (AUSMAP / Provided)

Medical non-profit Environment and Human Health, Inc. According to a new report from, microplastics can cause a variety of harmful effects, from oxidative stress to intestinal and lung damage to microbiome damage.

Gaboury Benoit, an environmental chemist at Yale University and lead author of the report, told the Epoch Times that ethical concerns limit the scope of plastic and microplastic research that people are involved in. You have to rely on either animal models or cell cultures. “

Benoit believes that what we know so far is sufficient to encourage action.

“It may be true that we don’t know all the consequences yet. The question is, do people want to take advantage of that opportunity? I think the answer is probably not,” Benoit said. ..

Jesse Chan

follow

Jessie Zhang is a Sydney-based journalist who reports on Australian news. She holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and music. Contact her at [email protected]