Polystyrene Pollution in the Yarra – Phase 2

Through our Litter and Flows and Yarra Blitz projects, we have identified styrofoam, especially expanded polystyrene (EPS), to be the most prevalent and pervasive macroplastic litter item in the Yarra River.

In 2019, we formed an idea of the key sources of polystyrene pollution and developed an action plan to prevent this noxious substance from entering our waterways and Port Phillip Bay. This project follows on from the first phase of the Polystyrene Pollution in the Yarra River report and focuses on further understanding the sources of EPS pollution. It aims to get further data on specific industries to create a more complete picture that can inform polystyrene pollution efforts and reduction strategies.

The main aims of the project are:

  • Understand relative contributions to efficiently focus and monitor future source reduction efforts
  • Build a stronger, evidence-based understanding of litter sources
  • Create educational material for community and business on the extent and impact of EPS pollution
  • Improve engagement with communities via citizen science opportunities to collect data on EPS pollution around Melbourne
  • Build an open-source, interactive polystyrene pollution layer into the Yarra Atlas

We are excited to announce that a polystyrene layer will be available in the Yarra Atlas shortly, the launch date will be announced soon!

Help the community increase its awareness and appreciation of the River

There are a number of ways that you can help us to protect the Yarra. From becoming a member to volunteering your time, explore how you can help below.