Well, we did it again – Gunk in the Gulf, and what we can do – was a thought provoking forum with heaps of fascinating information to digest (pardon the pun) about the problems caused by plastics in the (not just) marine environment.

We were most fortunate to hear from four terrific speakers – all passionate about understanding the economics, complexities, ethics and implications of waste that ends up in our oceans – and particularly the pervasiveness and persistence of plastics.

John Phillips (CE of KESAB), Kristian Peters (AMLRNRM Marine Scientist), Sue Gibbs (Marine Mammal Biologist) and Sarah-Jo Lobwein (Marine ecology advocate) provided a range of angles on this vexing issue.

The elephant in the room for all speakers was the magnitude of rogue plastics in the world. There are five huge oceanic gyres of plastic swirling and growing larger – and our activities as consumers are NOT helping.

Common themes were:

  • Inconsistent policy here and abroad
  • Confusing and misleading information about plastics and recycling
  • A mismatch of resources, demand and ability to process recyclables
  • Insufficient information about options/alternatives
  • The importance of communities in taking action and effecting change

The impacts on marine animals and environments is shocking and graphic, but all to easy to NOT see. But our last speaker, Sarah-Jo, while reiterating much of what was said by John, Kristian and Sue, offered some practical actions that we can all take to turn around unconscious habits or even more importantly put pressure on retailers to change.

The take-home message is that we can ALL make relatively simple changes in our lives to stop adding to plastic wastes!

   

 We continue our conversation with featured speaker Sarah-Jo Lobwein about the work she does regarding single use plastics #swapforthesea . What has been your favourite or most impactful achievement to date? . “When another local venue or business in my local council area contacts us to work with them or to promote that they have embraced plastic-free alternatives, they add to the growing tide of change happening locally and globally. . This then adds more support, influence and encouragement for more businesses and individuals to become aware and change their behaviours. . Personally, working with the next generations also has a great personal, local and global impact. Children are amazed and shocked when they find out what items consist of plastic (such as chewing gum) or why a product cannot be recycled, or why an animal has died from plastic pollution. . They innocently yet intelligently ask “why” we use single use plastics and why companies use ‘hidden’ plastics without public notification and think of easy solutions rather than making excuses to keep polluting. . They still go and purchase an ice cream wrapped in plastic packaging, but the seed is planted in their thoughts, and it is not their responsibility that the packaging is harmful; it is the brand’s responsibility to be providing a sustainable option.” . To our #FoGSV Community, what impact can you have? Think of the ripple effect, your action can and will have an onflow affect. You can influence family, friends, your work and local businesses just by being an inspiration in your own circle of influence. . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent
 . Following on from our first instalment, we hear more on Sarah-Jo’s presentation and look out at the end, you may be shocked! . Please provide a brief overview of your talk topic: . “Sea Change - Local plastic pollution, marine conservation and Community Empowerment through Education, Awareness, and Action to change attitudes and practices and  #SWAPFORTHESEA - empowering the community and individuals to change their behaviour by discussing and embracing simple everyday, sustainable swaps that are easy to do, and will drastically reduce your plastic consumption while maintaining a ‘convenient’ lifestyle! . Immiscible - why water and plastics do not mix - simple solutions to avoid single use plastic pollution to Stop the sea drowning in plastic - Global pollution, Global solution - raising the awareness of contributing countries, communities and individuals. . Simple plastic-free alternatives and choices to follow without changing our convenient lifestyles at home and while travelling the seven seas, which will have a huge positive effect for the ocean, the flora and fauna and ultimately ourselves! An engaging look at a serious problem including the ‘hidden’ plastics we use (did you know most chewing gum is made of plastic?), the effects on marine life and humans, and easy preventative actions for individuals.” . Did you know about the chewing gum?  . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent

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