What is the aim of our ongoing beach survey / clean ups in Byron Bay?

Plastic Free Byron Bay

Since 2012, Positive Change for Marine Life has been running scientific survey beach clean ups in Byron Bay. To date we have collected over 400,000 items, largely consisting of cigarette butts, plastic straws, bottles and bags, toothbrushes, tiny pieces of photo-degraded plastic pieces and more to help combat marine debris at its source.

Research is the basis of our 'Honour the Ocean' beach clean up surveys. The research that we undertake identifies marine debris hotspots in the region as well as driving long-term conservation outcomes in the Shire and beyond through:

- Contributing toward lobbying local business/government to ban plastic bags in the Byron Shire and other locations in Australia and internationally;

- Underpinning our work to design and construct awareness-based infrastructure to shift perspectives in tourists and local alike when it comes to marine conservation - we are currently working on a 100% recycled material-based educational display throughout the Byron Bay township to raise awareness;

- Providing a practical way for students and the community to engage in marine debris education programs on the beach, in the ocean, as well as in the classroom to learn more about the issues, first-hand (including beach clean up surveys, art workshops, ocean clean ups, plastic yoga sessions and more). To date Positive Change for Marine Life has run programs in Australia, the United States, Brazil, Japan and on the Peace Boat's 83rd Global Voyage visiting 22 countries internationally (with some of our school projects contributing in a reduction of up to 90% of waste from going to landfill);

- Reflecting the huge litter and pollution issues associated with cigarette butts making their way to the ocean, providing a catalyst to push for a smoking bans and community awareness across key areas that impact marine ecosystems;

- Contributing to our work as a partner organisation of plastic reduction and alternatives projects such as Plastic Bag Free NSW and The Boomerang Alliance;

If you'd like to get involved in Honouring the Ocean, we can help you to get there! Take part in our 2017 Marine Debris Challenge or find out how we can help you to set-up a Positive Change for Marine Life sponsored beach clean up survey, education program or plastic-free campaign wherever you are! You can also take part in our fortnightly beach clean up surveys on Main and Seven Mile Beach in Byron Bay. Check out our facebook or events page for more info or contact our Honour the Ocean Coordinator Marie Paquette via m.paquette@pcfml.org.au.

You can also pledge to go plastic bag free and in doing so support our push for the town of Byron Bay in New South Wales to transition away from plastics! Together, we CAN reverse attitudes and mitigate the impacts of marine debris!


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Photography © Tristan Bayer - Video © Sharon Shostak/The Echo