Prior to the 1970s it was legal to dump dredged material, industrial waste, sewage sludge, radioactive waste and other refuse into the world’s oceans. However, a growing awareness of the detrimental effects on marine environments and the human impacts of ocean dumping led to the practise becoming regulated. The London Convention 1972 was one of the first global conventions to protect marine environments from human activities.
In Australia the dumping of waste at sea is regulated under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981. The Act aims to minimise pollution threats to marine environments by prohibiting the dumping of harmful materials and regulating permitted waste disposal. The Act applies to all vessels, aircraft and platforms within Australian waters and to Australian craft in any part of the sea.
The donor of this badge, Diana Pittock, writes of her experiences with environmental campaigns:
There were and are many rallies and campaigns on protecting the
environment e.g. forests in Victoria and the Franklin River in
Tasmania. In 1980 in Melbourne four of us established a
Non-Violence Training Collective (NTC)
prompted by the Tasmanian
Wilderness Society’s campaign [for] the Franklin
River. That campaign insisted on non-violence
training for participants in the [river] blockade. Thus the NTC grew quickly as
people heard about the campaign and wanted the training in preparation to going to the
blockade. Many people came to Melbourne for training and some of our
group trained interstate …
throughout 1980–83 in all states. By then many
environmental campaigns for forests, anti-whaling and ocean health
also wanted a non-violence approach to their campaigns.