Plastic in the Marine Environment

Introduction

Plastic is finding its way into the environment, particular waterways, coasts and beaches.  A great deal is manufactured from non-biodegradable materials which have many environmental and related implications.

In response to concerns raised by the Full Group about the prevalence of plastic on beaches and in waterways (particularly plastic parking tickets and infringement notices), a technical report was produced by the Secretariat to develop an understanding of its risks and implications.  The report details, in general terms, the nature and impacts of plastic in the marine environment and the policies and procedures implemented by Member Councils.  A copy is available by clicking the image below.

Front page of report

Member Councils recognise that the issue of parking and infringement tickets in the environment presents an opportunity to reduce cost, decrease consumption and waste, and improve efficiency and sustainability outcomes.  Councils have the ability to reduce the environmental impact of parking systems and reductions align with public sector responsibilities and sustainability objectives.  In this regard, the Secretariat has also prepared a Good Practice Guideline addressing sustainability in parking management.  It aims to translate sustainability objectives into an action plan, tiered according to each Council’s particular policies and strategies. The Guideline is intended to be a living document and updated and reviewed as required.  Click the image below for a copy.

Guideline: Parking Tickets collageThe Secretariat is now exploring a research collaboration with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) and the Earthwatch Institute Australia to expand knowledge and understanding of marine debris.

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