The surface waters of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers carry nearly 1.4 billion items of litter to Port Phillip Bay each year, according to new research from Port Phillip EcoCentre.
Over 1.1 billion items (79%) of this litter load is microplastics (pieces of plastic less than 5 mm in diameter).
Both the Yarra and Maribyrnong litter loads have increased since research began in 2015, but the Yarra pollution has increased faster.
All litter categories in the Yarra are increasing except straws. The number of straws in the Yarra is declining. This may be due to community and business efforts to reduce their use.
Video generously produced by Huzzara