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Types of marine debris items that wash up on Atauro.

Common items that are regularly found in our clean ups are single-use plastic cups, straws, cutlery, fragments of fishing rope, local icebags, personal care products (shampoo, detergent, makeup), cigarette lighters and toothbrushes. 


Issues for the natural marine environment relating to marine debris.

No. 1


A major issue that happens due to marine debris is ingestion by animals. Marine and terrestrial animals may mistake plastic debris they encounter as prey and ingest it. This can cause the animal to suffocate and or starve. Depending on the species and environment this can lead to species depletion and failure of an ecosystem. 

No. 2


Some marine debris may entangle marine life and sea birds. This can endanger the animals' life, which may cause serious injury or death. Globally, fishing debris such as net scraps, fishing line and rope that are carelessly discarded cause these problems. Proper disposal of these items can help reduce the amount of casualties.

No. 3

Unsightly Pollution

Marine debris on beaches and in the ocean can affect tourisms a whole in Timor Leste and on Atauro. Given that the reefs surrounding Atauro are world class and are highly regarded in the diving and academic world the visual pollution is seen as a big negative for Atauro's community.

Circular Economy

A circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. The Circular Economy aims to tackle global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution by emphasising the design-based implementation of the three base principles of the model. The three principles required for the transformation to a circular economy are: designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Ekipa Tasi Mos aims to stay true to the Circular Economy Principles. Locally we have created a small scale circular economy amongst our own community. Through our recycling of marine plastics and selling of our products, the money we make goes back to the community to fund employment and education. This creates a circular economy which benefits our community as a whole. Take from the community and then give back to the community. 

Below is a PDF file about a study conducted by Steven Davis about where the marine debris that wash up onto to Atauro's beaches come from.







                            Observations on the sources of deposition of plastic on the east coast of Atauro, Timor-Leste.

News article of interest : The big problem caused by small packages.

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