By Grace Purvis.
Australians discard more than 9.67 billion pieces of single-use plastic every year.
This comes as the Sea Life Trust and Sea Life ANZ released new research for World Oceans Day today that highlight the devastating effects of Australia’s plastic usage.
Ocean Youth Program coordinator Vicki Brown says Sea Life Sunshine Coast is working towards awareness and action with Australia’s plastic consumption.
“We are really trying hard to look at our plastic usage and educate the public,” Mrs Brown says.
“It’s coffee cups, plastic bags, single use plastic bottles and straws are the four main top offenders.
“It’s actually the lids of coffee cups that are the problem because they don’t break down.
“Those four main plastics are the main things we need to work on.”
According to the research, Australia uses 3.3 billion plastic bags per year, which end up in the ocean and get mistaken as food by marine life.
“We have a turtle rehabilitation program here and plastic is always our main culprit,” Mrs Brown says.
“What happens is an animal will eat plastic and die.
“Their body will sink to the bottom of the ocean but the plastic will stay intact and another animal will come along and ingest the plastic again and the cycle just continues.”
Mrs Brown is urging the public to take responsibility for their plastic usage.
“There are so many programs and petitions which are great and we support 100 per cent but I don’t think we need to wait for supermarkets to ban plastic bags, just make the decision yourself,” Mrs Brown says.
“I have children and I want my children to grow up in a plastic free ocean.
“They say that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish so we need to make the change today.”
‘A Plastic Ocean’, a new documentary that highlights the devastating effects that plastic has on our environment, was also screened last night at Big Screen Cinemas in Caloundra to mark World Oceans Day.
The event was held by SO Sunshine Coast and all profits went to SEALIFE Trust, which is in collaboration with Boomerang Bags Noosa.
SEA LIFE trust ambassador Regan Taylor says the film brings much needed knowledge and funds to ocean pollution.
“We will raise about $700 from the single screening alone which is all donated,” Mrs Taylor says.
“We all rely on the ocean for air, water and food. It covers 71 percent of our earth.
“It’s such a significant part of our world and this film highlights the issues our oceans are facing.
The Sunshine Coast Council is organising a screening in July for another opportunity for the community to watch the film.