As the shocked Sea Shepherd volunteers looked on, a tsunami of plastic washed up, wave after wave, onto beautiful Greta Beach, Christmas Island.
More shocking is that this is an everyday occurrence – there had been no weather event, natural disaster or ocean accident, just business as usual for an ocean bearing the burden of our plastic waste.
Over a week these volunteers from the Marine Debris unit picked up over 2,800 tons of debris from just one beach.
But it is not all bad news. The short documentary by Sea Shepherd, ‘The Plastic Undercurrent’, features active environmentalist and business woman, Tanya Cross, founder and director of Eco Crab Industries. She calls the impact of plastic marine debris on her homeland a ‘very emotional’ issue but is quick to point out that there is a positive answer.
Eco Crab Industries has begun recycling the plastic debris, to create beautiful objects of value from what was regarded as waste. Eco Crab Industries has set up a circular economy. This is similar to the circular economy being established by the Gowings Whale Trust (GWT), with our partners the MiiMi Aboriginal Corporation and the Plastic Collective in the Coffs Coast area. GWT has purchased a Shruder Recycling Centre for MiiMi, who will use their Aboriginal Rangers to retrieve and recycle plastic from our waterways, trained by the Plastic Collective.
Plastic is not the enemy – it is how we dispose of plastic that hurts. Help us support environmental activists like the Sea Shepherd volunteers and the Plastic Collective, who are making a difference.
Read the full story, Loving the Plastic Life, on Coastbeat.