In an article published on April 10, 2017 by news provider Plastics News, correspondent Kate Tilley reports that the Australian Government has issued a draft threat abatement plan including strategies to reduce marine plastic pollution. The draft plan was developed by the Department of the Environment and Energy and follows an Australian Senate hearing inquiring into the issue of marine plastic pollution and measures to mitigate it (FPF reported).
Six major objectives are presented in the draft plan:
1) Long-term prevention of marine debris,
2) identification of key species, ecological communities, ecosystems, and locations affected by marine debris for priority action,
3) research into the impacts of microplastics and plastic debris on marine species and ecological communities,
4) removal of existing marine debris,
5) monitoring of marine debris (e.g. quantities, origins, types, hazardous chemical contaminants) and assessment of management arrangements for reducing marine debris, and
6) raising public awareness of harmful marine debris, microplastics, and hazardous chemical contaminants to generate behavior change.
According to the draft plan, “domestic policies on materials, supply chains, product stewardship, waste management and resource recovery could minimize the volume of debris entering the ocean,” Tilley informs. The Australian Government has asked for public comment on the draft plan and will release a final plan after the consultation (closing on April 13, 2017).
Kate Tilley (April 10, 2017). “Australian draft plan aims to reduce marine debris.” Plastics News
Australian Government – Department of the Environment and Energy (2017). “Draft threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine species (2017).”
Australian Government – Department of the Environment and Energy (2017). “Draft threat abatement plan for the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine life (2017).” (pdf)