“People have short memories,” said Oceanographic Research Institute coastal scientist Bronwyn Goble. “There is a lot of effort to clean things up when things happen, then they forget.”
The big issue, she said, was unwanted plastic from inland constantly entering the ocean, particularly when rivers are in flood.
Plastic items break down into microplastics and have the same impact on marine life as nurdles.
“They act as bio-accumulators, absorbing toxins like pesticides that may be in the water, acting like sponges.