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A sea turtle which died after ingesting huge amounts of plastic has been the genesis for an invention to help remove plastics from the world’s oceans. The ‘Shruder’ machine is the brainchild of Coffs Harbour-based environmental scientist and zoologist Louise Hardman. It shreds and extrudes waste plastic which can be turned into products such as filament wire for computers. The concept has won Ms Hardman the Coffs Coast StartUp Challenge 2017. It will empower small communities to turn waste plastic into resources.

Ms Hardman said that in 1993 she was asked to help a marine turtle that had washed ashore into the Wooli River. After three days it died and a necropsy found it was full of plastic.

“In the 25 years since then my motivation has been to try and find a way to keep plastic out of the ocean,” she said. “The plastics that killed the turtle were found in the seagrass in one of the most pristine rivers on Australia’s East Coast. Since then I’ve just always thought that I have to stop plastics going into the ocean one way or

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