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

Honour the Ocean

Since 2012, Positive Change for Marine Life has been running scientific survey beach clean-ups in Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads and Broken Head. To date we have collected over 300,000 items, largely consisting of cigarette butts, plastic straws, bottles, cutlery 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 transition away from single-use plastic and other environmentally unfriendly single-use products through our Don't Be A Sucker' initiative;
  • Providing a practical way for students, businesses and the community to engage in our Activ8 for the Ocean education programs on the beach, in the ocean, as well as in the classroom to learn more about the issues first-hand';
Plastic Free Byron Bay
  • Reflecting the huge litter and pollution issues associated with cigarette butts making their way to the ocean - this led to our Smoke Free Beaches Program alongside Byron Shire Council, which also resulted in a smoking ban / ongoing community engagement program across beaches in the Shire from March 2018;


  • Contributing to our work as a partner organisation of plastic reduction and alternatives projects such as Plastic Bag Free NSW and The Boomerang Alliance;
  • Creating a visible, public presence, highlighting the issue to the local community and tourists to the region - empowering them to take action!

If you'd like to get involved in Honouring the Ocean, we can help you to get there! Why not 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 Byron Bay Coordinator Zoe White via z.white@pcfml.org.au.

You can also pledge to go plastic bag free and in doing so support our push for Byron Bay to transition away from plastics!


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