Skip to Main Content

Environmental Change and Management : Marine Pollution

Year 9 Geography




Search for items using the Library Catalogue Accessit

World Economic Forum


There could be a million times more microplastics floating around our oceans than previously thought, according to new research suggesting existing studies could have seriously underestimated the problem.

Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment

Marine debris (or marine litter) is defined as any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment (UN Environment Program, 2009).



Our oceans are often depicted as picture-postcard azure waters teeming with plants and animals. In reality, many marine environments have become a dumping ground. It was once thought that our oceans were so vast that any pollutants would soon be diluted and dispersed. But we now know that some litter, like plastics, can take years to decompose or will never. Toxic chemicals, either leaching from rubbish or flushed into our oceans, accumulate within the water and food chains, even on the seafloor, posing serious risks to marine animals.

Marine Debris Program

The mission of the NOAA Marine Debris Program is to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris.

Australian Antarctic Program


The quantity of litter in the world’s oceans has been steadily rising as a result of river pollution and poor waste management in many areas of the world. Although it is the most isolated body of water on the planet, winds and ocean currents mean that the Southern Ocean is not exempt from this pollution, and debris is common on its waters and shores.


Imagine a world where our oceans and beaches are free from plastic bags, bottles, and other waste. Where single-use plastics are the rarity, rather than the norm. Where re-usable bags, bottles, and containers are seen in every workplace and food hall around the world.

Geneva Environment Network

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. This page aims at listing relevant information, research, data and/or press releases issued by our partners in Geneva and other institutions around the world.

Boomerang Alliance

The Boomerang Alliance in Australia aims to create a healthy pollution-free environment for all to enjoy by promoting maximum resource efficiency and zero waste. This can be achieved through the introduction of systemic changes which deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits.


How much rubbish could you collect from a suburban beach in 30 minutes? You may find the answer confronting. Guardian Australia joins Paul Sharp and Silke Stuckenbrock from the Two Hands Project to see just how prevalent plastics are on Australia's beach.

Ocean pollution in Australia.

An Australian invention that is cleaning up our oceans is launching a global drive for investors.


A surf photographer, business owner and father of two is seeing more and more plastic wash ashore his beloved home beach. In a bid to discover the route of this problem he embarks on a journey of discovery to educate himself and understand more about the problem. Along the way, he discovers some alarming issues. Plastic Pollution is a very real threat to the future of our planet, the animals that inhabit our oceans and ultimately the human race. The problem is far worse than it seems on the surface and we need to act now to ensure we protect the future for ourselves and our planet.

You might not be able to see them, but they're in the water. Although trash heaps are easier to spot in waterways, microplastics—pieces of plastic smaller than five millimeters—have started to stir more concern. Acting as sponges, the pieces soak up the chemicals around them and often make their way through the food chain, ending up on dinner plates. Most microplastics are created over time from larger pieces or directly from microbeads in products like face washes or toothpaste. The pieces are so small they pass through waste treatment plants and into waterways.

We live in a world of plastic. From the clothes we wear, the electronics we use to the food we buy, our lives our surrounded by, and depend on, plastic products. Over time, all of these plastic products break down into smaller and smaller pieces to become ‘microplastics,’ or plastics smaller than five millimeters.

Tuesday the 22nd of March is World Water Day. So we're going to take a closer look at a threat to our oceans that you might not have heard of before. We've all visited the beach and seen heaps of rubbish lying around. But scientists say there's also trash there that we can't see. It's called microplastics.

Plastic pollution poses one of the biggest known threats to the ocean, influencing all ecosystems from beautiful coral reefs to abyssal trenches, eventually accumulating in our own food. Learn more about how to upend the current system of produce-use-discard, and transition to a system which promotes reuse and repurposing of plastics.

Our oceans are being filled and killed by throwaway plastics. But together, we can create a movement to reduce throwaway plastic at the source and save our oceans. Oceana and our allies are already winning plastic-free victories.

Marine Bio

Governments world-wide were urged by the 1972 Stockholm Conference to control the dumping of waste in “their oceans” by implementing new laws. The United Nations met in London after this recommendation to begin the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter which was implemented in 1975.


Plastic and other marine debris are a major environmental concern. Marine debris is a globally recognised environmental issue of increasing concern.



Items like plastic bags, discarded fishing line and balloon strings are highly lethal to marine animals, who swim through them and become entangled.


Plastic pollution is being found throughout oceans around the world, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This global issue is attracting growing concern due to its effect on marine organisms and ecosystems.

Coastal Care

Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment


Marine debris (or marine litter) is defined as any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment (UN Environment Program, 2009).


Australia implements a range of standards and regulations to protect the marine environment from pollution. These standards and regulations ensure we meet international obligations. You must comply with these regulations and report marine pollution incidents.

Earth Observatory

NASA Earth Observatory is an online publishing outlet for NASA which was created in 1999. It is the principal source of satellite imagery and other scientific information pertaining to the climate and the environment which are being provided by NASA for consumption by the general public

Heroes of the Sea

As an investigative photographer, I travel the world in search of the most urgent current issues affecting the survival of our world's ecosystems as well as its cultural heritage. Each of my projects ventures into the most dangerous, out-of-sight places on Earth in order to reveal to the whole world what it cannot afford to ignore. The overarching goal is to raise awareness and provide critical insight into topics that ultimately concern everyone.

World Oceans Day

As Australians drink more and more bottled water every year, it seems our ever increasing thirst for this product is compounding a serious issue in our Oceans. Plastic pollution is scaling out of control and polluting our blue seas and causing harm to our wildlife. Waterlogic have created this infographic to help you understand the full extent of the problem and to give tips and ideas on how you can help.