Microplastics Mega Problem This World Ocean Day

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Microplastics are the ‘new face’ of Australia’s marine plastics crisis, making up a quarter of all items littering the nation’s urban habitats – more-than 10 times ‘traditional offenders’ like plastic bags and bottles – the past three years.

This is adding pressure to an already increasing number of threatened marine species, which rose about 20% at the same time.

That’s according to new research marking World Ocean Day from Conservation Volunteers Australia as part of its Australia en Danger insights series with public affairs analysts Provocate®. CVA is the official partner of World Ocean Day down under.

The findings will be presented to Federal and State Environment Ministers before their upcoming COAG meeting discussing key plastic, packaging and species reforms, particularly given CVA’s #SeaToSource program plays a critical formal role in counting and collecting data towards Federal targets of an 80% reduction in plastic entering the environment by 2030.

CVA CEO Phil Harrison revealed the worst offender for marine microplastics was Sydney (35%), followed by Adelaide (27%) and Tasmania’s Hobart/Launceston (26%), compared to 25% across the nation’s state capitals between 2020 and 2023.

Items like plastic beverage bottles and plastic bags only made up a fraction of that at around 2% each, he said.

Mr Harrison said there were a range of actions Australians could take action right now, including

/Public Release.