Year 9 students at St Paul’s Catholic College in Manly were involved in the Australian Microplastics Assessment Program (AusMAP), a national science initiative to come up with new ways to clear the beaches of microplastics.
Microplastics are small plastic particles, originally from litter, which have been worn down by the ocean and which now pose a risk to the local ecosystem.
As part of the program, students collected data about microplastics at four local beaches – Manly Beach, Shelley Beach, Little Manly Beach and Collins Flat – and learned firsthand about scientific sampling. The samples were then analysed at Macquarie University as part of the broader program with the results shared with the students.
Meanwhile, students from St Joseph’s Catholic College in East Gosford joined Clean4shore for their first field trip on the local Brisbane Waters, collecting a mechanical component from a truck, a pallet, a bicycle, and two abandoned tyres along with bags of litter.
By the end of the day, the girls had cleared the local area of 780 pieces of soft plastic, 605 food wrappings, 380 pieces of polystyrene, 120 plastic bottles and 114 glass bottles.