Research conducted by Australia’s national science body showed that there was 29% less plastic waste on beaches than in 2013, when surveys of a similar nature were conducted. This has sparked hope that continual improvement can be made in order to resolve the issue of plastic waste on beaches head on, and has also shown that current interventions are somewhat effective.
So, what was the most effective strategy for reducing the amount of litter on Australian beaches? The research showed that economic-based strategies over several years helped contribute to the reduction, such as shopping bag bans and recycling collection.
To further support this theory, the research also revealed that companies who removed their coastal waste management budget had ‘dirtier coastlines’ in comparison to those who invested and updated their coastal waste strategies over time.
By 2030, CSIRO hopes to reduce plastic waste from entering the environment by 80%. Other incentives, such as beach cleaning robots could also help to achieve this goal. However, many are still in the development stage.