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Reel in the rubbish at St Kilda

Plastic is not so fantastic on the beach.

New Seal the Loop recycling bins for plastic waste such as broken or tangled fishing lines are being installed along the foreshores to encourage people to dispose of them responsibly.

The recycling program, a Zoos Victoria campaign developed in partnership with Parks Victoria, aims to reduce the amount of fishing lines, nets and other plastic litter afloat in the sea, which has the potential to entangle, injure or kill marine wildlife.

Melbourne Zoo director Kevin Tanner said the zoo’s veterinarians treated wildlife with injuries due to entanglement in marine litter.

“This campaign is an opportunity for us to reach out into the community to remind people of the damaging effects of plastic rubbish in the marine environment and provide a convenient disposal option,” Mr Tanner said.

The Seal the Loop bins have been manufactured from plastic thrown out at Melbourne Zoo.

Twenty bins - the first one at St Kilda Pier - are being installed at boat ramps and fishing spots around Port Phillip Bay for the trial program.

Meanwhile, swimmers can visit the beach knowing they’ll be free of butts and cuts from December 1.

Mayor Frank O’Connor said cigarettes and glass littered the beaches and posed serious threats to people, marine wildlife and the environment.

``Stopping smoking and the use of glass containers will greatly improve the quality of the beaches,’’ he said.

Surf Coast Shire, which includes the beach hotspots of Lorne and Torquay, has already implemented the no butts/no glass policy successfully.

``We are proud to be the first bayside municipality to launch this campaign and we hope it spreads further than Port Phillip,’’ Cr O’Connor said.

Source: Port Phillip Leader:

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