Sifting sand to help marine life
FOSSICKING for microplastics could almost be more exciting then gold.
Removing the tiny 5mm size plastics from the beaches could make a significant change to cleaning up the debris.
Conservation Volunteers Australia has brought a sieve to the Sunshine Coast for the first time to help pick up the microplastics that the scientific circles are saying are the most dangerous to marine life and birds, manager Doug MacKenzie said.
"It will have a huge benefit to marine life,” Mr MacKenzie said.
"It is part of the chain at the tip end where it (microplastics) gets consumed even by tiny marine creatures.”
The sieve comes from America and Mr MacKenzie said sand is shovelled into the 2m by 1m machine and a static charge separates the plastic from the sand.
CVA is working in conjunction with Stockland who has organised 45 clean up days during the calendar year.
To date the Stockland project has collected about 400kgs of rubbish and debris.
"It is a varied daily collection of 3-4kgs up to the top collection of 40kgs in one day,” Mr MacKenzie said.
The group finds a reasonable amount of reasonable food packaging and cigarette butts, fishing equipment including hooks and discarded line, household plastics, flip flops and boat debris.
He does not believe the microplastics will add a creat weight to the collection but will be significant in analysis.
"It will be able to tell us exactly what is in the sand.”
CVA's mission is to connect people with nature for people that seek an opportunity to be in the sun, exercise and to make a difference. It currently has more than 300 volunteer members and is always looking for more. You can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and the group will be at Shelly Beach on September 29.