Plastics comprises 84 percent of Australia's beach debris

Plastics comprises 84 percent of Australia's beach debris

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An analysis of Australia's oceanic trash collected in the past ten years reveals that 84 percent of it is plastic.

As much as 84 percent of the rubbish found on Australian beaches in the past ten years is plastic.

Almost half of all the debris originates from land-based sources (littering, dumping on land, etc), and seven percent from dumping activities at sea.

The remaining 42 percent could not be traced to a specific source as they had broken down into smaller fragments, which would eventually become microplastics.

This was the findings of a study led by University of New South Wales (UNSW) Science, and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

More than 2,000 organisations and 150,000 citizen scientists took part in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI), by analysing the marine debris collected.

"The AMDI Database contains entries of beach clean-ups across Australia, but the added value of this database is that volunteers take the time to categorise what they find, sorting and counting the amounts of plastic, glass, rubber, metal, paper and other items,” said lead author and PhD candidate Jordan Gacutan, from UNSW Science’s Centre for Marine Science and Innovation in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.


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