Environmentalist Libby Edge with her newly designed, 100 per cent biodegradable bag.
Environmentalist Libby Edge with her newly designed, 100 per cent biodegradable bag.

Bags helping to save marine life

LIBBY Edge is still living on a high following her recent acknowledgement at the 2010 Whitsunday Tourism Awards where she took out the prestigious Young Achievers award for her vision in setting up Eco Barge - a marine debris removal program.

But the dedicated environmentalist has taken her vision one step further - she has developed a bag that is 100 per cent biodegradable.

Made completely of bamboo fibres, Ms Edge hopes this bag will be introduced into the Whitsunday community as an alternative to plastic shopping bags which pose a major threat to marine life in the region.

“I just want to provide a bag that is totally marine friendly,” Ms Edge said. “I had to come up with an option to support our [Eco Barge's] trips out to the ocean while we wait for funding from the government.

“We need to have local retail stores and tourism operators come on board and support our marine debris program.”

Ms Edge said other alternative bags, such as the green (eco) shopping bags and corn-starch bags were helping the cause but did not go far enough.

She also said the new alternative bag would break down into fibres if they ended up in our waterways compared to plastic alternatives which break down into chunks of plastic, which have a devastating effect on our marine environment.

“We're taking positive action to reduce the amount of marine debris in our region,” she said.

Eco Barge was launched in July last year and now has 189 volunteers who have collected 51,405 kilograms of rubbish in Whitsunday waterways.

For anyone interested in finding out more information on the matter visit www.ecobargeservices.com.

MARINE DEBRIS FACTS

  • 51 405 kg of rubbish collected in Whitsunday water ways in the past 16 months
  • 80 per cent of marine debris comes from storm water drains

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