Plastic waste, particularly fishing line, poses a threat to marine wildlife when not disposed of responsibly. Most plastic waste continues to threaten wildlife long after it has been discarded.
As a result, thousands of animals, such as seals, suffer from entanglement and ingestment every year, with only a small proportion ever detected.
Specially designed Seal the Loop bins, made from recycled plastics collected at Melbourne Zoo, encourage positive recycling behaviours from our visitors and facilitate the appropriate disposal of fishing waste when they are installed at popular fishing locations.
In 2010, twenty bins were produced and trialled thanks to funding from Schwepps. In total, around 200 bins have now been installed across various locations along the Victorian coastline.
To record the collection rates and items collected in the Seal the Loop bins annually through community group reporting frameworks.
Community groups in charge of bins send in all collection data over a 3 month period each year. This is done through a set template so Zoos Victoria can collate and analyse the data.
The 2012 study involving 30 Seal the Loop bins found the following:
A full report is currently being prepared.
Participating organisations: Zoos Victoria; local Victorian coastal councils and numerous community groups.