Plastic Oceans Australasia

Plastic Oceans Australasia

Profile Infomation


Plastic Oceans Australasia

Profile Infomation

Name of Organisation

Plastic Oceans Australasia

Name of Contact Person

Ricki Hersburgh

Contact Person Phone Number


Contact Person Email

Organisation Address

9/22 French Avenue, Brunswick

Date Founded


Outline the main goals and outcomes of your initiative (100 words max.)

Plastic Oceans Australia wants to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation through a focus on the ‘refuse’ of the 4R’s: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle. Our approach is to develop the ability to be creative, problem-solving, critical thinkers. The big question is, can we learn to live without plastic?

Our project in the Moreton Bay Shire is the ‘Collective Schools Challenge’. We are inviting 10 schools to sign up and work as a collective to join the Plastic Oceans Australasia Education Program (both Practical and Theoretical components). We want to see these 10 schools work collaboratively to commit and act to eliminate single use plastic from their schools within a 12 month period. This project is open only to the first 10 schools that sign up.

The theory modules of our Education Program aim to provide primary and high school students with knowledge about plastics and their detrimental effects on the environment.
Objectives of the theoretical component of the program are as follows:
The education resources that have been created are targeted at the age groups of 5-7 years, 7-11 years and 11-16 years. Primary school learning outcomes include the ability to identify plastic, test recyclability, make decisions about problem solving, design simple scientific tests and understand the idea of bioplastic. High school learning content covers bioaccumulation, pollution, combustion of hydrocarbons, linguistics and urbanisation. Examples of learning outcomes include being able to explain how plastic waste reduces biodiversity, identify challenges of a rapidly-growing population as social, economic or environmental and communicate science information in an engaging tone/style using vocabulary for effect.

Objectives of the practical component of the program are as follows:
The National Schools Student Challenge, is lead by a small student group at each school. Once signed up to the program, the students have 12 months to completely eliminate single use plastics from their campus, meaning the whole school is the primary beneficiary of the project. With a single use plastic-free institution like a school, comes a huge reduction in waste output and ultimately a reduction of plastic waste that makes its way into our oceans.

Our mains goals are to
1. Sign 10 schools up to the Collective Schools Challenge
2. Raise funds to allow these 10 schools to obtain the POA Education Program Materials: A $5 donation will go towards providing comprehensive POA resources and materials for one of the 10 schools of the collective

Summarise HOW your initiative aims to benefit our Oceans AND inspire a sustainable Future (200 max)

We are the plastic population drowning in a plastic crisis. Single use plastic is indestructible, and production has outpaced the planets ability to deal with the waste produced. Landfill is not the answer with export doors now closing for recycling. The waste ultimately ends up in our waterways. Scientific evidence has shown that 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans EVERY YEAR estimated to increase to 320T at current rate of manufacturing. Plastic in the ocean leads to entanglement, ingestion, habitat destruction and impacts on marine and human health. Consumer habits must be hastened for change. The Gen Alpha and Z’s are the new world influencers to be able to change consumer behaviour in households, communities and within peer groups quickly. Currently there is a huge amount of misinformed information being disseminated on how to dispose of waste. Our Film “A Plastic Ocean “helped raise awareness of the issues now we can deliver to targeted groups with all the tools in a positive way to move forward with a tangible solution.

POA is a unique charity in our region that collaborates with other charitable organisations, united in our aims to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation. Created and initiated initially by the Founder and producer of the film, Jo Ruxton (who is based in the UK), this education program has taken five years of extensive research and development to be produced for global use; designed alongside scientists, educational institutions by teachers for teachers. We are raising awareness of the plastic issue and solutions by taking our messages and these resources to different audiences such as schools, further education, individuals, communities, businesses, government and international developments. However, the greatest current demand is from the education and community sectors. Australia houses 25 million people of which approximately 5 million are under the age of 18. It may be that a whole village is required to bring up a child, however today, the climate change predictions have been proved to be very conservative, we know through research that the power to instill rapid change is greatest with Gen Z’s and Gen Alpha’s are activated. Our program delivers a comprehensive easy to use pathway for systematic positive behavioral change.