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Human health impacts from litter on beaches and associated perceptions: a case study of 'clean' Tasmanian beaches


Campbell, ML and Slavin, C and Grage, A and Kinslow, A, Human health impacts from litter on beaches and associated perceptions: a case study of 'clean' Tasmanian beaches, Ocean & Coastal Management, 126 pp. 22-30. ISSN 0964-5691 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.04.002


People take for granted that injuries occur at beaches. But the evidence for injuries caused by beach litter is lacking within the literature. Therefore, we examined the prevalence of litter related beach injuries at Tasmanian (Australia) beaches. A risk equation was developed to determine injury risk posed by litter based on a user's frequency of beach visitation. Examined beaches are considered 'clean' (approximately 1.69 kg of debris per beach) using the Clean Coast Index. Moderate proportions (21.6%) of beach users received injuries from beach litter, illustrating that even clean beaches pose a threat of injury. Realised risk was high; with wounds (65%) being the most common injury. Daily beach visitation decreased injury risks (high to moderate/high). Respondents seldom (12.9%) recognise beach litter injuries as a major concern, instead focussing on impacts that litter in the marine environment (including beaches) has on marine biota. Respondent's perceptions of cause and responsibility of beach litter are discussed, with implications provided within a re-education context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:environmental management, hazard, marine biota, marine debris, risk
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Environmental sociology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Campbell, ML (Associate Professor Marnie Campbell)
UTAS Author:Slavin, C (Mr Chris Slavin)
UTAS Author:Grage, A (Ms Anna Grage)
ID Code:116799
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:51
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2017-05-22
Last Modified:2017-12-06

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