Rubbish is threatening marine life along sections of Western Australia’s coastline. Further out in the Pacific Ocean a sea of rubbish twice the size of South Australia presents a major ecological crisis. These environmentaldisasters require cleaning operations and better disposal of the products we use everyday.
Western Australia’s precious marine life, including vulnerable snubfin dolphins, whales and turtles, are living among our discarded rubbish.
A recent survey and clean-up effort by environmental and indigenous groups found marine life was at risk from rubbish being dumped along once pristine coastline in north WA.
The extreme green cleaning effort removed more than 250kg of ocean debris. This included ropes, buoys, plastic bottles and rubber thongs. Plastic containers – from drink bottles to household environmental cleaning products including dishwashing liquid, hand cleaner or laundry liquid – pose a modern-day threat to marine life.
Before the rapid growth of plastic rubbish dumped or washed out to sea was primarily made of natural materials (metal, cloth and paper) which would either sink or biodegrade. Durable, non-environmentally friendly liquid containers can remain on the surface for hundreds of years, posing a real threat to marine birds, turtles, whales and dolphins.
The WA coastline survey and clean-up was conducted by the Kimberley Land Council, Aboriginal rangers, GhostNets Australia, WWF-Australia and researchers from the Australian National University.
Trip coordinator Grace Heathcote described the scenes that confronted participants.
“We visited some of the most beautiful and remote areas of the continent and encountered debris from both Australia and overseas,” Ms Heathcote said.
Pacific Ocean debris
A sea of rubbish twice the size of South Australia is floating in the Pacific Ocean.
The North Pacific Gyre – or Great Pacific Garbage Patch as it has become known – includes toothbrushes, pen lids, bottle caps, toys, bags and bottles.
Keep Australia Beautiful campaigners said while cigarette butts remained the most frequently identified litter item, with 29 butts recorded per 1000 sq m, plastic litter objects contributed the largest amount of volume to the litter stream.
The amount of pollution floating in oceans is anything but environmental-friendly. Liquid waste also contaminates waterways and includes toxic chemicals from non-environmental cleaning products and oil spills from rigs and shipping containers.
Environmentally-aware households and businesses across Australia are recognising the cost of pollution on marine and inland waterways and have taken steps to address the problem.
Non-toxic, biodegradable products free of harsh solvents and algae-causing phosphates are replacing traditional cleaning products in progressive workplaces and homes.
Leading supplier of eco-friendly industrial liquids, Envirosafe Solution, has noticed the switch away from harsh cleaning products in Australian workplaces.
“From councils, corporate offices and inner-city services to remote mining sites there have been significant changes. This has been largely driven by concerns over the environmental and health costs associated with toxic chemicals,” Envirosafe Solutions managing director Murray Simon said.
“Not only do they contribute to significant health-related issues for staff but when improperly disposed of contaminate our soil and waterways. This is not a legacy Australians want to leave for future generations.”
Pollution threatening marine animals starts life as everyday products – reducing the amount of plastics we use and carefully disposing of waste will improve the health of our precious waterways. For more information about eco-friendly cleaning solutions for your business contact Envirosafe Solutions’ on 1300 88 90 70 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.