How to stop 420 million plastic bottles, 11 billion cigarette butts and 180 million plastic bags impacting marine life each year

Keep it clean: The WSL Junior Championships at Bombo Beach will send a clear message to keep our beaches clean. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Keep it clean: The WSL Junior Championships at Bombo Beach will send a clear message to keep our beaches clean. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Picturesque Bombo Beach is the setting this week for attention being focused on a growing problem on our coastline.

With 420 million plastic bottles, 11 billion cigarette butts and 180 million plastic bags entering marine environments in Australia every year awareness is considered an important deterrent.

And the World Surf League (WSL) World Junior Championship at Bombo Beach near Kiama this week is considered an important opportunity to bring attention to what is a growing global problem.

With some 80 per cent of plastic on the Australian coastline coming from local sources this month’s World Surf League junior surfing event is being used to send a clear message throughout the region and to visitors throughout the state and around Australia.

It is part of an effort to try and reduce the 60,000 tonnes of plastic hitting Australian beaches annually.

Pristine: A copetitor at this month's WSL Junior Championships at Bombo Beach. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Pristine: A copetitor at this month's WSL Junior Championships at Bombo Beach. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Kiama Municipal Council is playing its part in tackling ocean plastic pollution in the Illawarra.

This week council staff will be deploying an Ocean Action Pod at Bombo Beach during the WSL World Junior Championship.

It will also be on display at the annual Kiama Show and local foragers markets, according to Byron Robinson at Bombo Beach on Sunday morning.

Kiama Council waste management officer Josephine St John said the pod was a mobile education trailer.

She said it featured a range of creative interactive displays and resources.

 “We are deploying the Ocean Action Pod at Bombo Beach during the World Junior Surfing Championships to reach the surfers and their fans about this important issue,” Ms St John said.

 “The Pod is an innovative way to bring the message about protecting our beaches and oceans right to people’s doorsteps.”

The Ocean Action Pod includes a micro-plastics discovery station and roll-out displays of common plastic debris.

Plastic marine debris not only impacts on marine life around the world it is estimated to cost around $18 billion a year to try and manage.

Ms St John said fortunately there are solutions.

She said the council and its staff will be providing information and resources that will allow people to do their bit to reduce plastic pollution.

The resources include free Picitup kits that provide a collection bag, gloves and other useful tools.

There is also log book to help track rubbish to its source to try and do something about preventing it happening again.

At Bombo Beach this week the Ocean Action Pod will also have information about a Container Deposit Scheme being rolled out soon.

The scheme is a campaign focused on removing single-use plastic bags.

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