Operation Straw: Tackling Straws in Manly Cove
Last year, local resident Kasey Turner went for a snorkel after work in Manly Cove, Sydney. In the area she found 319 straws in just twenty minutes. 24 hours later Kasey went back and did another and found 294 in the exact same place. These are not isolated events. However, while there are sporadic sets of data collected from these cleans, there are no numbers of discarded straws that have been collected over a consistent period of time that would truly illustrate the vast number of straws found in Manly Cove.
Operation Straw is a collaboration between Dive Center Manly, SO Manly and Grumpy Turtle Design that will foster a sense of stewardship over Manly Cove – a beloved dive site- while simultaneously collecting information on one of the most harmful plastic items; straws.
Throughout the operation, the amount of straws and type of straw will be recorded using Tangaroa Blue data sheets. They will also be recording details like tide, weather, the weather in the week leading up to the dive etc. to allow them as much understanding for the reasons why particular debris was found. At the conclusion of the project, they will be left with a solid set of numbers surrounding exactly how many straws were found and where they originated from. If the numbers of straws found are significant, this could help spark change on a national and even global scale.
7 News Sydney have covered the story and published a video sharing the segment which aired on their Weekend Sunrise program. The fact it’s had TV coverage is fantastic, however we were very disappointed with the caption used on their Facebook post which read ‘First it was plastic shopping bags, then takeaway coffee cups now there’s a group of people trying to convince us just how much plastic drinking straws suck.’. Are they trying to lighten the significance of straw (and plastic) pollution, and make fun out of it? It sure sounds like it to us.