Somerset Times

Plastic - Not So Fantastic

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 5,
Term One, 2017

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The annual Clean-up Australia Day event organised by the Somerset Sciences Committee will take place on Friday 3 March 2017, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Groups of students, under the supervision of the Sciences staff, can come and help clean up Somerset and can use this activity to count towards CAS.

Every time it rains rubbish left on the ground can be washed down drains, through our storm water system and discharged into our rivers, creeks, canals and ocean. This presents a major hazard to marine life, especially when plastics, which are not biodegradable, flow into our waterways.

2017 - T1 - W5 - CUAD

More plastic has been produced in the first few years of the 21st Century than during the whole of human history. Whilst much of this goes to landfill, a significant portion is making its way to the sea, which is becoming like a plastic soup. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, and that’s not fake news!

All around the world, marine animals are confusing plastic for food and it’s proving deadly. On the east coast of Australia, endangered sea turtles are being found at the surface of the water covered in barnacles. They’re suffering from ‘floating syndrome’, usually caused by the ingestion of plastic, which leads to a build up of gas inside the animal. This means they’re unable to dive, feed and visit their underwater cleaning stations. If the turtles are not rescued, they will die.

If you care about marine life and healthy oceans, there are simple things you can do to make a difference:

  1. Attend ‘Clean up Australia Day’ at Somerset on 3 March 2017, 3.30pm to 4.30pm.
  2. Put your own rubbish in the bin and make the decision not to use disposable plastic products like shopping bags, water bottles, cups, cutlery, plates, and straws.
  3. Pack a waste-free lunch every day. Gold Coast City Council estimates that 50% of waste in schools comes from lunch box packaging.
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