Christmas Island tackles plastic rubbish problem by collecting and recycling – ABC News


Christmas Island tackles plastic rubbish problem by collecting and recycling – ABC News

When Tanya Cross moved to Christmas Island in 2014, a distant territory Inside the Indian Ocean, There have been no recycling decisions.

Key factors:

  • Tonnes of garbage washes up on Christmas Island shores Yearly from Asia
  • Tanya Cross created Eco Crab Industries, the island’s first recycling selection
  • The recycling agency is shredding, softening and moulding plastic merchandises to create new merchandises

“When it Includes solely straightforward merchandise like your meals packaging, drink bottles, your toilet or laundry merchandise, factors That you merely buy Everyday, there was utterly nofactor, so it goes into the bin,” she said.

“I questioned the native council In the event that they have been Making an try to introduce a recycling system … They typically said, ‘No we’re not, as a Outcome of It is too costly to ship.'”

Christmas Island is 360 kilometres south of Jakarta and 1,400km north-west of Australia.

The shoreline is made up of jagged cliffs arising from the tropical waters, with some bays woven in between.

Because of island’s location, The encircling currents and winds these seashores Are typically awash with lots of marine particles from Asia.

The group furtherly depfinishs on freight shipments, both by sea or air, For almost everyfactor necause of its distantness.

The extreme phosphorus content material Inside the soil has made it troublesome to develop greens and fruit on the island, which means most current meals comes from offshore, Ensuing In further packaging waste.

The conundrum impressed Ms Cross to create Eco Crab Industries in 2019.

The agency not solely collects garbage on the island however appears to repurpose plastic And change it into on A daily basis merchandise.

Locals on Christmas Island say Greta Seashore Is usually coated in marine particles from Asia.(

Provided: Eco Crab Industries


Masses of marine particles 

On Greta Seashore on Christmas Island, It is not unusual to see the turtle nesting habitat utterly coated in garbage.

“For my half, Greta Seashore Inside the dry season is probably the worst beach in Australia for marine garbage,” Ms Cross said.

Island Care And native school scholars Carry out common clear-ups Throughout the island.

Final month scholars from Christmas Island District Highschool collected virtually half a tonne of marine particles from Greta Seashore.

This included 501 water bottles, 1,555 thongs, and 11,310 polystyrene merchandises.

Chief authorities and co-Founding father of Tangaroa Blue Foundation Heidi Tait said Greater than 90 per cent of the garbage was plastic.

Plastic makes up 90 per cent of the marine particles that washes up on Christmas Island.(

ABC Pilbara: Laura Birch


“The drawback with plastic is that it by no means biodegrades,” she said.

“It simply degrades into smaller and smaller merchandises so till You are taking away it the placeas It is huge It Might be virtually subsequent to inconceivable to take away it when It is A bit of microplastic.”

Ms Tait said it was inspiring to see the group work undermethod to take away the garbage from the island.

“It’s A Sort of factors the place it catches extra marine particles than A lot of completely different places round Australia,” she said.

Ms Tait said authoritiess needed To take a Take A look at strategies to assist third-world nations in right waste administration infrastructure and create a holistic strategy to reducing marine particles.

“We now Want to go proper again to the manuactualityure and design of merchandise [and] We’d Want to cease using so many single-use plastic merchandise,” she said.

“If We will cease using and disposing of Tons stuff then Which will slowly trickle down Right into a discount Of What’s ending up in Our environment.”

Tanya Cross is the founder and proprietor of Eco Crab Industries on Christmas Island.(

ABC Pilbara: Laura Birch


Discover extra native information

Repurposing plastic 

Eco Crab Industries’ workshop on Christmas Island is abuzz with noise.

Ms Cross and the group are turning island trash into treasure.

Inspired by The useful Plastic enterprise, the brainchild of Dutch Industrial design scholar Dave Hakkens, the group has constructed a quantity of plastic shredding and softening machines.

Eco Crab Industries provides bins for The world people to drop off their recyclable plastic, As properly as to amassing waste from the environment.

The waste is separated, washed, and typeed earlier than being shredded, softened and moulded.

The plastic is Turned factors Similar to constructing blocks, bowls, coasters, and completely different artisan merchandises.

“We’re tackling factors in waste administration, and we are doing it in such a method That is worthwhile, that’s sustainable, that anyone can do and We have simply proved that event,” Ms Cross said.

Eco Crab Industries makes bowls and coasters from plastic waste.(

ABC Pilbara: Laura Birch


The plastic that Eco Crab Industries makes use of to soften into merchandises is On the decrease finish of the poisonous levels.

“Every diploma of plastic has A particular diploma of poisonousity, which I really feel actually Ought to be talked A few bit extra,” Ms Cross said.

“I really feel A lot Of people Do not know There’s any poisonous diploma However It is not a pure merchandise so Really there’s going to be one factor Inside there.”

Eco Crab Industries has A retailer in its workshop the place the group Can buy the merchandises.

Parks Australia furtherly ordered a picnic bench for the island.

“I simply Have to encourage people now,” Ms Cross said.

“You will Have The power to do it, You Do not need particular connections, You Do not need large portions Of money, You will Have The power To start from anythe place.

“If We will do it on Christmas Island then anyone can do it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *