Murdoch University staff and students have banded together to be part of Plastic Free July
Murdoch University staff and students have banded together to play their part in cleaning up waste in a popular and protected regional park bordering the Indian Ocean as part of Plastic Free July.
Marking the last day of Plastic Free July, Harry Butler Institute at Murdoch University organised staff and students to participate in a clean-up morning at Woodman Point as part of the global movement that inspires people to reduce their plastic use and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Pro Vice Chancellor for the Harry Butler Institute Professor Simon McKirdy said it was more important than ever we focus on cleaning up our environment to ensure the long-lasting sustainability of our local water ways, environment and native species.
“During the pandemic it was evident there was an increase in online shopping, meal delivery services and the use of face masks and coffee cups with many of these products washing up on the shore around the Swan River,” Professor Simon McKirdy said.
“According to Roy Morgan research* more than 5.5 million Australians aged 14+ used meal delivery services last year and according to APCO Collective Impact Report less than four per cent of soft plastics are recycled in Australia.
“These are alarming statistics and more needs to be done. It needs to be an individual approach and we need to create more awareness so picking up rubbish becomes part of our everyday occurrence.”
Professor McKirdy said Murdoch researchers had found manta rays and whale sharks are consuming plastic particles from broken down plastic bags and single-use packaging, highlighting the importance of cleaning these areas and reminding people to dispose of their waste responsibly.
“We would like to encourage other West Australians to show their commitment to improving the environment by both participating in local community group clean up events as well as doing their part by picking up any rubbish to help to protect Australia’s environment, Professor McKirdy said.
“Together, we can make a meaningful, long-lasting difference to the parks, beaches, rivers and pathways near us.”
Note: Roy Morgan research - Food delivery services, May 28 2021; The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Nov 2021