ABOUT 120 science students, Sea Shepherd volunteers and Freo council staff gave Bathers Beach a thorough spring clean this week.
The students from Fremantle College, a long-term leader in teaching sustainability, have been studying man’s love affair with plastic and its impact on the environment.
Each year millions of tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans and Bathers Beach cops its fare share; up until last year when they were caught out, TAFE’s aquaculture facility on Victoria Quay was flushing out thousands of bits of plastic from its filtration system.
Prue Jewell from the college’s science and marine section says hopefully the day on the beach will help the students change their own behaviour so they don’t contribute to the problem.
“Everyone agrees something must be done,” Ms Jewells said.
“From banning plastic straws to rebooting recycling systems to harnessing plastic-munching bacteria, there is no shortage of touted solutions.
“It is less clear what would work best.
“But fixing the plastic waste crisis is going to take some seriously joined-up thinking.
“Some of our young science students may end up working in sustainability in the future to find solutions to our plastic crisis.”
Meanwhile the Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign says one thing people can do is to rethink cheap, throw-away nylon clothes and look to the emerging slow eco-fashion movement.
It’s urging people to attend the opening of Eco Fashion Week Australia, which was due to be held at Fremantle Oval last night (Friday November 15 if you’ve got your early Herald) from 5.30pm.
“Today many items of clothing are made from polyesters and nylons that shed thousands of microfibres when you wear and wash them,” Sea Shepherd organiser Marina Hansen posted on their Facebook page.
“Microfibres are simply plastic particles and are now found in more than 600 fish species including plankton.
“Fashion does not need to be like that and we can make changes to our purchases and invest in clothes that will be with us and worn for a very long time.”
by STEVE GRANT