RIDDLE ME THIS: Chris Cantor of Sunshine Beacch is keen to find out the source of these plastics that keep getting washed up on the beach.
RIDDLE ME THIS: Chris Cantor of Sunshine Beacch is keen to find out the source of these plastics that keep getting washed up on the beach. John McCutcheon

The mystery plastic polluting Coast's beaches

PLASTIC pipes found strewn across Sunshine Coast beaches have left environmental warriors puzzled.

Chris Cantor, found over 50 short pieces of polypipe around 400m north of the beach near his Sunshine Beach home days after ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie.

He is left wondering where it came from after the same was found elsewhere.

"If it was a one off as a result of Cyclone Debbie then it may not be too important, but if it's going to be an ongoing problem then a solution needs to be found," Mr Cantor said.

"If there's a new cause of plastic pollution that we don't know about then we've got to do something about it.

"The number of pieces I found point to industrial not domestic use. The universally short lengths (1 to 10cm) also are inconsistent with domestic gardeners, whose off cuts are often a metre or more."

Fellow beach-cleaners Mr Cantor knows also found pieces at Double Island Point, and Bribie Island a few weeks ago.

Mr Cantor said he even found more of the mysterious piping yesterday.

According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, millions of tonnes of rubbish enter the ocean every year, but Mr Cantor said if everyone did their part the beaches could be healthier.

"Quite regularly I collect plastic and try to remove as much as possible," he said.

"If more people were aware we could do some great things for the beaches.

"If you leave paper on the beach it looks unsightly, but it'll break-down whereas plastic won't.

"Some people are not aware that plastic gets swallowed by fish and sea-birds will swallow quite big bits and often die from it because it gets stuck in their stomach."

Mr Cantor is urging anyone who's found similar items to come forward and share their experience so the plastic puzzle can be solved.

"We need to find out which beaches have been affected, how far afield the problem has been - Sunshine Coast and beyond, maybe even interstate and whether it is ongoing," he said.

"It will be interesting to find the answer to this riddle - then we may be able to address the problem."



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