MP shocked at plastics on beach
Fremantle MP Josh Wilson has bemoaned the presence of microplastics on Albany beaches during his first visit to the Great Southern as assistant shadow environment minister.
Mr Wilson joined Albany academic Dr Harriet Paterson at Muttonbird Beach on Monday for his first stop in the region. The pair spent time looking at Muttonbird’s shoreline — and said what they found was concerning.
“You come down to Muttonbird Beach and at first glance it is a pristine, clean beach, but as soon as you get down on your hands and knees and start looking in the sand, you find little fragments of blue and orange and yellow hard plastic,” Mr Wilson said.
“It goes to show plastic pollution is a massive issue.
“Fifteen million tonnes go into the ocean annually around the world and it is not just turning up in our beaches, it is turning up in marine species, bird and fish.
“That is very very bad for the environment and those species in themselves, and in turn, it’s bad for us.”
Mr Wilson said a shift in consumer culture was needed to combat the plastic problem.
“Europe has made some good changes when it comes to packaging,” he said.
“We need to start looking at those things, otherwise we just throw our hands up and do nothing. The amount of plastic that is produced by 2025 will be double what we produce now — and we’re seeing the results of it. It can’t continue.”
Dr Paterson said she shared the Labor MP’s concerns about the amount of plastic that could eventually end up on Great Southern shorelines.
“We’re affected as much as the rest of the world is. The problem for us are the models that the south coast between Augusta and Adelaide is going to be as bad South East Asia in about 30 years time,” she said.
“Not because of us littering per se, but stuff being transported here. We don’t know enough, we need to do more studies to see what’s out there, how the oceanography works.”
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