Website will help stop plastic pollution in its tracks.
Posted on 09/25/18 7:32 PM
Hot spot: Dr Paul Harvey collecting plastic rubbish that has accumulated among the mangroves trees at Kennedy Cove, Carrington on Monday. Picture: Marina Neil.Hunter residents have the opportunity to participate in a world-first project that aims to record the location of accumulated plastic pollution in the environment.
Environmental scientist Paul Harveyhopes the online MappingPlastic Pollution map will create an increased awareness of pollution hot spots as well as opportunities to reduce pollution.
“There are already some projects that look at micro-plastics, but this is the first time anyone has looked at large plastics on a national and global scale,” Dr Harvey said.
“Once we have recorded these sites the challenge is to get it cleaned up otherwise it could still be there in 20 years time.”
Participantscan log onto the Mapping Plastic Pollution website to record and describe a location where plastic pollution has accumulated. Photos of the site can also be uploaded.
Plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags made up the bulk of the pollution that was found among the mangrove roots at Carrington on Monday.
The area is at the mouth of the Throsby Creek, which drains a 3000 hectarecatchment.
Much of the plastic pollution found among the mangroves has partially broken down.
“We often see coffee cups that have cardboard on the outside but they are lined with plastic. The cardboard will degrade away but the plastic remains,” Dr Harvey said.
Durable: Cardboard cups such as these are difficult to break down. Picture: Marina Neil.
The 2016 National Waste Report estimated that plastic represented at least five per cent of the 64 million tonnes of waste produced in 2014/15.
The Mapping Plastic Pollution project will also assist organisers of events such as Clean-Up Australia. Day.
Volunteers have historically removed thousands of tonnes of plastics from areas such as the Carrington mangroves and Lake Macquarie each year.
Dr Harvey’s Mapping Plastic Pollution project can be found at environmentalsciencesolutions南京夜网