Sea Shepherd Australia Hosts 100 Clean-ups in 2021

Wednesday, 13 Oct, 2021

Since the start of 2021, Sea Shepherd Australia has conducted over 100 community clean-ups, equating to one clean-up every 2.5 days.

This incredible milestone has only been made possible thanks to the dedicated volunteers who have turned out to attend clean-ups around the country. 

Community clean-ups have been hosted in cities and towns around Australia, with remote clean-ups taking place on islands off Brisbane, at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean Territories, and at the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo.

Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaigner Marina Hansen said “Sea Shepherd is working with and supporting communities around Australia to protect beaches and waterways from increasing volumes of plastic pollution along our coastlines.”

“Our marine debris teams are committed to protecting their local beaches and bringing the community along the journey to a clean, safe and healthy ocean for marine life and for each other.”

“It’s been a challenging year with the many restrictions and lockdowns across the country, but reaching this milestone is a testament to the power of direct action and passion of our volunteers.”

- Marine Debris Campaigner, Marina Hansen

During the year, volunteers of Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign have used citizen science to collect and sort waste audit data on over 400,000 items, cataloguing 9.1 tonnes of marine debris. Findings from this data have revealed the top 10 polluting items.

Plastic bits & pieces (hard & solid) including microplastics

Plastic Film Remnants

Cigarette Butts and Filters

Foam insulation & packaging (whole & remnants) 

Plastic packaging food (wrap, packets, containers)

Paper & cardboard packaging 

Glass or ceramic (broken) 

Straws, confection sticks, cups, plates & cutlery 

Lids & tops, pump spray, flow restrictor & similar 

Rope & net scraps less than 1-metre 

The coastlines of Australia are home to many species of marine animals, including seabirds, turtles and crabs, all of which are affected by plastic pollution. Analysis of marine plastic pollution has revealed that 44% of marine mammals and 86% of turtle species are estimated to have plastic in their stomach.

While the hustle and bustle in many of our cities may have stopped as a result of COVID-19, plastic on our beaches has not, and so our Marine Debris campaign will continue to clean-up Australia’s coastlines where it is safe to do so.

Take action today by joining a clean-up near you 


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