Citizen scientists and beach-lovers came together today on a trip to St Kilda beach to learn more about the growing problem of microplastics as part of National Science Week(August 13-21).
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio was joined by Member for Albert Park Martin Foley for the event – an invaluable opportunity for Victorians to learn more about microplastics and their impact on the environment.
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that pollute Victoria’s waterways and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is taking a leading role in tackling the issue.
They are easily identifiable under coloured UV lights. The new sampling method has been developed for EPA’s Citizen Science Program and will help the Authority quantify the impact of microplastics – and reduce the volume of plastic entering our marine systems.
EPA provided sand samples from a range of Port Phillip Bay beaches, allowing participants to monitor the sand from their local beach.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio
“If you look closely enough at beach sands around Port Phillip Bay, you’re likely to see tiny pieces of plastic. We want to understand the extent of the problem and reduce the amount of plastic entering Port Phillip Bay.”
“We can all play our part by ensuring plastics we use at home are disposed of correctly. Bigger pieces of plastic can break up and become microplastics, harming our environment and marine life.”
Quote attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley
“The Andrews Labor Government has provided funding to local governments, including Port Phillip, for beach clearing programs that ensure our beaches remain healthy into the future.”