15 Oct 2011

Moss used to clean oil off rocky beach

5:32 am on 15 October 2011

The Bay of Plenty settlement of Maketu has been given permission to use a special moss to get oil off the coastline.

Maritime New Zealand, which has control over the clean-up, is allowing the community to use 100% natural sphagnum peat moss from Canada on the shoreline.

A local family has purchased 5000 kilos of the moss, which can absorb 5000 litres of oil.

The clean-up co-ordinator for locals at Maketu Point, Jesse Bramley, says the moss breaks down the oil so it can be easily removed.

He says it works amazingly well, especially in rockier sections of beach.

Mr Bramley says case studies have found the peat moss itself does not harm the environment or wildlife.