Victorians are lucky to boast a unique and diverse coastline. From rugged cliffs to surf beaches to bays, our coastline has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, Victorians also have a lot to offer with tonnes of rubbish accidently flowing through storm water systems and into the sea.
Plastic pollution poses a major threat to the marine ecosystem. Plastics don’t break down like organic materials (e.g. wood or leaves). Instead, plastic hangs around for a very long time. For example, a plastic water bottle will last for 450 years. In the ocean, plastics get bumped around and broken into tiny pieces, but never fully disappear. These tiny pieces are easily mistaken for food and can clog up marine animals’ digestive systems. This causes serious tummy aches and is sometimes fatal!
Once plastic gets into the ocean it is hard to remove. However, we can help by reducing the amount of water that washes into the sea in the first place. For example, everyone can reduce the amount of plastic they use by remembering green bags at the shops, reusing take-away containers, and refilling water bottles instead of buying a new one. If every Victorian made even a small effort, it would add up to a big difference for marine animals.