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Plastic pollution is an urgent global issue on the cusp of constituting ‘planetary boundary threat’

Manawatu River Source to Sea (an entity of ENM) is working together with Massey University's Zero Waste Academy on this project that aims to collect data from 40 randomly selected sample sites on streams running through Palmerston North to get a better idea of the overall size of the plastic pollution issue in the city.

All the litter in 100 square metre sections of the stream will be collected, then cleaned, dried, sorted and measured to establish a baseline of the plastics currently lingering in our streams.

This is a citizen science project.  By engaging the public in data collection and sorting events, it is hoped that a diverse range of people will have a hands on chance to learn about the scientific method being used, as well as increasing awareness of the issues around plastic pollution in our own back yard. 

The work is physically challenging and and quite dirty, but also eye-opening and potentially life-changing.  The aim is that new conversations, ideas, behaviours and strategies for improving the situation in our streams, rivers and oceans will emerge.

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Click here to view the slides that were presented at the Palmy's Plastic Challenge Launch Event held on 6 March 2019 at Massey University (you will need to enable popups if this link isn't working).
Check out our methodology posters here.  These posters give a brief outline of the process we undertake to collect, sort and measure the litter data from the urban streams.  We introduce each collection event by running over this methodology with the group. 

Want to Get Involved?

We have now completed the sample collections at over 40 sites, and are now at the stage of sorting and measuring the litter data.  This phase will be carried out at Te Manawa over the April 2019 School Holidays.   Complete the form below to sign up to help. 

Keep up to date...

You can keep up to date with any news and stories from the project on the project's Facebook Page or over on Instagram.