Australian Marine Debris Initiative - Get the Rundown!

February 18, 2020


Find out about the recent Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) workshop from RCA volunteer Cheryl Tan: -

As part of the warm-up to the recent Clean Up for the Hatchlings event at La Balsa Park, volunteers and employees from participating non-profit organisations (Reef Check Australia, SurfRider Foundation) came together for the AMDI workshop held at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium organised by the Sunshine Coast Council to learn more about the Australian Marine Debris initiative (AMDI) system. 


The aim of this workshop was to enable volunteers and organisations who were running beach clean-up events to also collect data on what they were finding with a consistent methodology so it could be collated into a standardised national database on marine debris.  

A couple of interesting takeaway points as well as fun facts we learned from this workshop included:

  1. Chocolate wrappers and potato crisp packages were classified as “foil wrappers” under the Metal section and not under “Packaging Items” in the datasheet.


  1. How would you differentiate a lollipop stick from an earbud stick? 
  • The top of a white lollipop stick has a square hole but the top of an earbud stick has little grooves in it! 


This is a fun activity for kids to get stuck into, but it is also important when it comes to itemising these 2 items in the appropriate category: lollipop sticks go under “Plastics” and earbud sticks go under “Sanitary” in the datasheet.


  1. Once everything under the “Plastics” section has been itemised, we collate all plastic straws and place them in a pile to be counted. 


  1. Cyalume sticks were another interesting item. If found during clean-ups, these were first itemised and thereafter collected and sent for identification. These sticks would then be traced back to various fish and tackle stores.

There were many other pointers we received during this hands-on session and is definitely a highly recommended workshop for anyone looking to use the AMDI datasheet within their local community clean up events.


Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council for supporting our work in this region.

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