Students Thom Verzantvoort, Pippin Pama, Molly Pearce, Jelte Schuurmansscour scour local beaches for plastics of all sizes and types. (Submitted photo)

Student study finds recyclable plastic prolific on Oak Bay beaches

Oak Bay High renews its water work with visiting Netherlands students

All types of plastic make an appearance on local shorelines, says a study by Oak Bay High students working alongside their peers from the Netherlands.

The study is part of ongoing work, both in class and as extracurricular activity, to study water in the community. This year, students embarked on a mission to determine which what types of plastics are washing ashore and if they’re recyclable.

During a presentation for a small crowd of parents, teachers, school officials, Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and other interested residents, students outlined the methods used for gathering information on plastic pollutants plucked from area beaches.

“Plastics have so many terrible effects on the environment and they could so easily be prevented by just thinking about where plastic is going, not throwing it away or just leaving it on the ground where you are,” said student Astrid Hawkes, explaining the bioaccumulation of plastics in the food chain. Small marine life start eating the tiny bits of plastic, working up the food chain to human impact. They also documented impacts on animals, for example showing a bird with plastic filling its digestive system, killing it.

The students from both Oak Bay and Maurick analyzed levels of plastics at Oak Bay’s Willows Beach, Cadboro Bay and French Beach in Sooke. They broke down plastics found at the local beaches by type.

The two major types of plastic found at Cadboro Bay and Willows beaches were #4-LDPE, (low density polyethylene) and #5-PP.

And there was a lot of it, as discovered last year, during a similar project. Then students found Cadboro Bay held the highest level of plastic pollutants with 53.4 per cent of the weight, Willows beach had 20.2 per cent, Mystic Beach at 21.2 per cent and French Beach a 4.7 per cent.

This year, they discovered #5-PP as the top offiender. Used for items such as yogurt containers and bottles, it’s an easily recyclable plastic and part of most community recycling programs. It can be recycled into bicycle racks, brooms, bins and more, but was abundant on both beaches.

The second most found was #4 LDPE, which is technically recyclable, but not often accepted at community recycle programs, students found. When recycled, it becomes milk cartons or grocery bags.

The students also outlined their four-student visit to the Netherlands last school year, where they engaged in a project with Maurick College, studying the the salt marshes and mud banks of a nature reserve where the town of Saeftnghe once sat.

Students from Oak Bay and Maurick previously collaborated on a Bowker Creek water study, taking that information to share during the Water is Life Conference last year in the Netherlands.


 

@OakBayNews
cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A slide from the Oak Bay High and Maurick College presentation on this year’s look at plastics on a trio of local beaches. It indicates plastic types found on Willows Beach in Oak Bay High. A slide from the Oak Bay High and Maurick College presentation on this year’s look at plastics on a trio of local beaches. It indicates plastic types found on Willows Beach in Oak Bay High.

Rachel Kastens and James Miller explain about trapzones on Willows Beach during an outline of the methodology of the study. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Just Posted

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

Mommy’s Inside Voice: A little piece of you

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a biweekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Pacific Centre Family Services Association a winning design in Colwood

Victoria Real Estate Board winner a welcoming sight

Victoria curling foursome looks to defend provincial title

2019 BC Junior Curling Championships held in Vernon from Dec. 27, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2019

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read