Marine pollution affects us all. Discarded food wrappers, cans, bottles and cigarette butts - and plenty more - often end up on our beaches, creating a serious hazard for marine mammals, birds and fish. Many animals ingest plastics thinking they're food and die from blockages or malnutrition. Litter also looks pretty terrible.
The bad news is, this is increasing.
The good news? There's something we can do to help.
Beach patrollers on the job
Beach Patrol Australia is a community response to plastic pollution, centred around Port Phillip Bay. Groups - named for their beach and postcode - do a monthly, one-hour beach clean, followed by a convivial coffee together.
Beginning in 2009 with '3206 Beach Patrol Middle Park', the movement now numbers 14 groups around the bay, taking in Williamstown to Port Melbourne, then south to Parkdale.