What is the ANSTO Plastics Project?

Here at ANSTO, we’re excited about environmental science and that’s why in January 2015, ANSTO launched the ANSTO Plastics Project.


We asked members of the community to get involved and become ANSTO citizen scientists. By helping to collect plastic litter in local areas and logging their data, ANSTO scientists were able to use the information to learn more about the lifecycle of plastics and the effect plastic litter has on beaches, waterways and marine life.


ANSTO scientists were then able to determine where plastic was present in the local community and more importantly, what happens as they weather and break down into smaller and smaller pieces.


ANSTO citizen scientists registered to receive a Plastics Project kit which was used to classify and quantify the types of plastics found. Data was then logged online and photos shared through Instagram for a chance to win a trip to Fiji.


More than 450 participants from across the Sutherland Shire joined the project and collected over 22,000 pieces of plastic litter.


Congratulations to Christine Johnson from Kurnell who won the research trip to Fiji, to see the amazing environmental work Ocean Ambassadors is doing to collect plastic litter and turn it into fuel.


If you would like to check out the amazing collections by our citizen scientists, check out our Instagram by searching @PlasticsProject and #PlasticsProject.


Whilst this year’s Plastics Project is finished, don’t forget to keep your eye out for future opportunities to be an ANSTO Citizen Scientist.