If you think about it, Port Phillip Bay is kinda like a giant bowl of soup! All those plankton, fish eggs and veg floating about makes healthy tucker for things that swim. But something’s changed in the plastic age. The unwelcome presence of discarded plastic bottles, straws and assorted packaging has been part of the beach scene for years, but generally accepted as an amenity issue rather than as pollution. But increasing evidence of micro-plastics being mistaken for food by marine creatures shines a whole new light on the issue of plastic in waterways.
Baykeeper volunteers have regularly found hundreds of plastic pre-production pellets (aka nurdles) on St Kilda beaches since May 2013. Where they came from is impossible to tell. But Baykeeper has found nurdles in streams flowing to the Bay, the Maribyrnong and Yarra Rivers and Merri and Laverton Creeks. They’ve also been found in the guts of Victorian seabirds. Baykeeper is currently enlisting support from schools, community groups, and individuals to measure plastic pollution in the Bay. The aim is to clearly show there’s an ongoing issue and to call on government agencies and plastics manufacturers to be part of the solution.