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Three Million Pieces of Trash Removed from Australia's Beaches

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020

We are pleased to announce that Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign has reached yet another milestone, this time removing over 3 million pieces of trash from Australia's beaches and waterways!

What started as a beach clean-up once a month for Sea Shepherd volunteers has transformed into a national movement where thousands of people from around the country are joining with Sea Shepherd. Together, we are helping to free our beaches and waterways of marine debris and in the process, keeping marine life and ecosystems safe from hazardous pollution.

This incredible achievement is all thanks to our passionate volunteers at the 680+ clean-up events we’ve hosted around Australia since 2015 when the Marine Debris Campaign began. Here's a snapshot from some of our events around the country: 

Our clean-up volunteers at Bathers Beach, WA.
A remote clean-up at Moreton Island, QLD. Photo: Rebecca Griffiths
Volunteers collecting trash from Djulpan: a remote beach in Arnhem Land, NT. Photo: Eliza Muirhead
Volunteers sorting and collecting marine debris during our remote clean-up in Arnhem Land in 2018. Photo: Eliza Muirhead
Our fantastic Marine Debris Coordinators, Marina Hansen and Liza Dicks during our remote clean-up in Arnhem Land, NT. Photo: Eliza Muirhead
Volunteers sorting trash collected during a clean-up at Cottesloe Beach in Perth, WA.
Our clean-up team at Leighton Beach, WA.
A remote beach clean-up at Moreton Island, QLD. Photo: Rebecca Griffiths
A dive clean-up at Coogee Beach, WA.

From our beach and river clean-ups in capital cities and regional areas; to island clean-ups at Moreton Island and the Cocos Keeling Islands; to our remote clean-ups in Arnhem Land carried out in partnership with the Dhimurru Rangers; all these locations are places of natural beauty that, sadly, are littered with marine pollution -- mostly plastic.

With wildlife, ecosystems and coastlines under the ever-increasing threat from the consequences of the mass production, consumption and discarding of plastics into the environment at record levels, marine plastic pollution is an issue that needs a whole of community approach – individuals, business, industry and government coming together. 

"Through hosting beach clean-ups as part of our Marine Debris Campaign, Sea Shepherd is playing an important role in creating opportunities for the entire community to take action and raise awareness of the crisis of ocean plastic pollution. This is a tremendous achievement by our Marine Debris Teams, led by incredible volunteer Coordinators and onshore crew."

- Sea Shepherd Australia's Managing Director, Jeff Hansen

- 3 Million pieces of trash collected, sorted, counted and recorded

- Total No. of Australian clean-ups*:  688

- Total weight of debris removed:  73,962 kilograms

- Total No. volunteers: 28,296 

- Bags of trash collected:  9,576  

- Beach area cleaned:  488 kilometres

- Remote clean-ups: Arnhem Land (NT), Moreton Island (QLD) & Sandy Cape (WA)

* February 2016 - March 2020

If we are to achieve the goal of healthy and diverse oceans that are free from debris, we must #stemthetide of plastics and stop them at the source and hold the big polluters to account. Learn more about our Marine Debris Campaign

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