Anson Bay has to be one of the loveliest beaches on Norfolk, which is really saying something! Sometimes though, a combination of wind, tide and swell can toss up large quantities of ocean flotsam, much of it plastic, marring the otherwise stunning beauty of this little bay.
Click here for photos of Anson Bay beach, the Anson Bay stalwarts, Headstone tip and samples of the rubbish.
Since June 2021, a small group of concerned island residents has been going down to Anson Bay, usually twice a week, to clear the beach of these unsightly deposits.
Some of the plastic seems to have washed in from the shipping lanes, but most is domestic waste which has clearly made its way round from the Waste Management depot at Headstone, with the most common items found being the white or blue seals from inside the caps of wine and Coca-Cola bottles.
In the early days of the clean-up, an astonishing amount was collected each time the group ventured down – 23 kg on the worst day, and generally upwards of 10kg. By November 2021, the quantity of plastic had diminished significantly, with 3 kg or less being the new norm. This may be due to differing marine conditions, or to there being less plastic in the waters around Norfolk Island as new waste management practices are implemented by the Norfolk Island Regional Council. It is proposed to conduct seasonal comparisons from year to year.
To encourage participation of visitors who come to the beach, Council has given permission to place beside the rubbish bins, a box containing a couple of reusable bags made of shadecloth. The group plans to monitor the bins for evidence that others are sharing the task of keeping Anson Bay plastic-free.