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VIC beach event puts microplastics in spotlight

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The Victorian Environment Minister took to one of Melbourne’s famous beaches to raise awareness of the impact of plastics waste and microplastics on the environment.

To coincide with National Science Week (August 13-21), Lily D’Ambrosio was joined by Member for Albert Park Martin Foley at St Kilda beach on Friday to help visitors to learn more about microplastics and the effects of plastics waste on marine life and waterways.

EPA Victoria is taking a leading role in tackling the issue. As microplastics are easily identifiable under coloured UV lights, a new sampling method has been developed for EPA VIC’s Citizen Science Program to help its analysts quantify the impact of microplastics and to help reduce the volume of plastic entering Victoria’s marine systems.

EPA VIC provided sand samples from a range of Port Phillip Bay beaches for the event, allowing participants to monitor the sand from their local beach.

“If you look closely enough at beach sands around Port Phillip Bay, you’re likely to see tiny pieces of plastic. We want to understand the extent of the problem and reduce the amount of plastic entering Port Phillip Bay,” said Ms D’Ambrosio.

“We can all play our part by ensuring plastics we use at home are disposed of correctly. Bigger pieces of plastic can break up and become microplastics, harming our environment and marine life.”

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