In an article published on February 18, 2016 by The Huffington Post Australia, journalist Cayla Dengate reports on a hearing at the Australian Senate inquiring into marine plastic pollution and measures to mitigate the problem. The Senate was informed of research by Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania, Australia, showing that shearwater seabirds are dying from ingesting plastic fragments. Further, plastics entering the marine food chain may ultimately be ingested by humans, informed Mark Browne of the University of New South Wales, Australia. During the hearing, a national container deposit scheme, stopping production of certain plastics, improved water filtration to remove microplastics, and systems legally requiring manufacturers or shops to take back plastic packaging were suggested as ways of reducing plastic waste entering the ocean. Also, the question of whether plastic should be classified as a hazardous material was discussed. The hearing will continue and ultimately provide the Australian Federal Government with a report including recommendations. “Change could start right now in people’s attitude to using disposable plastic,” according to Lavers. “‘Disposable’ and ‘plastic’ should never go in the same sentence. It’s an oxymoron,” Lavers further stated.
Cayla Dengate (February 18, 2016). “Senate hearing into marine plastic pollution hears about seabirds with stomachs full of plastic.” The Huffington Post Australia
Lucy Cormack (February 17, 2016). “Marine plastic pollution senate inquiry targets Australian ocean pollution.” The Sydney Morning Herald