One of the initial tasks we completed for P.S. Our Beaches, was creating a survey to gather information around the locations, concerns and actions taking place with a focus on beach pollution.
This data has, and is continuing to help us out immensely with our research and sub projects – so thank you to all who took part!
These graphs showcase the results we gathered. From this we derived that New Brighton and Sumner Beaches were the outright most popular beaches, hence our focus has been centred in this direction.
We also found that over 40% of respondents were ‘4. Mostly Concerned’ about pollution however this didn’t correlate to how severe they saw the visible pollution problem was, with most people considering it as a minor or reasonable issue. It is important to note however, that some pollution like micro plastic beads are also a threat despite not being considered as visible pollution.
In terms of the types of pollution people were noticing, bottles and cans were most common, closely followed by general plastic, plastic bags and wrappings. What this showed us is that there’s a big range and relatively even distribution of pollution types in and around our beaches. It was also interesting to note our respondents’ thoughts on rubbish bins. A recurring theme in responses was that the number of rubbish bins near beaches is very limited, and the ones that are there are often overflowing, especially in Summer. Despite any difficulty there may be to keep on top of emptying the bins, the general consensus was that people should be expected to put rubbish back in their bags to take home therefore negating the need for the bins and the collections at all.
Last of all, we were pleased to see that 86% of respondents dispose of rubbish in appropriate bins, though people bringing their own bags to supermarkets and stopping their use of bottled water was still low (27% and 23% respectively). This aspect of the survey was probably of the greatest importance to us, as we aim to spread awareness around the impacts of ocean pollution.
Thank you to the Burnside High School students for completing this survey! It was great to have such a substantial sample size with some weighty data coming from the survey!