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Plastics pollution tour coming to Gisborne

THE increasing dangers of water pollution have prompted a North Island-wide tour discussing the problem.

More than 12 million metric tons of plastic enter oceans annually, and New Zealand has been named the 10th most wasteful country in the developed world.

International plastic pollution experts Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen are in Gisborne on Monday as part of The Pure Tour 2018.

As founders of the 5 Gyres Institute, they have produced much of the current knowledge on ocean plastic pollution.

The aim of the tour is to bring the North Island’s communities up to date on the issue through discussions, workshops and scientific sampling, and ro encourage a collective approach to addressing plastic pollution.

The tour includes hands-on workshops, beach clean-ups, school events, beach and marine surveys, documentary screenings, conference presentations, public lectures and a plastic pollution summit.

The experts will discuss the nature, size and scope of the ocean plastic pollution problem at the Tairawhiti Environment Centre in Palmerston Road from 12 noon to 2pm on Monday.

Other topics to be discussed are how the plastic pollution affects coastal communities, enters food systems and affects human health, what can be done to circumvent the problem and how to survey beaches for microplastics.

A workshop will be held in Ruatoria at Kariaka Pa from 3pm-5pm tomorrow.

The tour is supported by Massey University, Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, The 5 Gyres Institute, Para Kore and Algalita Marine Research & Education.

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