On Saturday 16th September 2017 people from all over the world will take part in Coastal Cleanup Day. To date, nearly 12 million people have given up their time to collect rubbish, particularly plastic, from coastal regions. Consequently, Coastal Cleanup Day is the world’s biggest volunteer effort to protect our seas and oceans. Will you join us this year and a make a difference to your local community?
Plastic in our oceans is a truly enormous problem. According to the latest research it has been found in 62% of seabirds and in EVERY species of sea turtle. In fact, more than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our seas and oceans every year! Heartbreakingly, over 40% of this is single-use plastic designed simply for packaging. Now, if this doesn’t shock or worry you, this will: plastic is now found in things that most of us eat. In 2011 a study was done in the Clyde in Scotland which found that 83% of Dublin Bay prawns, the tails of which are used in scampi, had ingested microplastics.
So, what can you do to help out? The first thing that you can do is get out there on Coastal Cleanup Day and help to rid your local area of rubbish. I know, I know: it’s not your rubbish, you didn’t drop it. But, by making a stand and publicising your efforts, you may just inspire others to do the same. Furthermore, you may also make people think twice about carelessly dropping what they consider to be an innocuous piece of litter. Awesome!
We will be heading to Talacre beach at the very early time of 6:30am if anyone along the North Wales coast wishes to join us. Just make sure you bring refuse bags, gloves and a flask of tea of coffee to keep you going. I’ll be taking along some containers to safely collect items such as glass, should we find any. If this sounds good, head to our Facebook page and sign up on the Event page.
If you are getting out there on Coastal Cleanup Day, download the free Clean Swell app from the App Store. This enables to you to record what you collect and share your data with others. I’ve created a Potty Adventures group on the app so it would be great to see how much our little community can collect between us.
If, however, you can’t get out on Coastal Cleanup Day, there are still things you can do. Firstly, pledge to reduce your use of single-use plastic. Make easy changes, such as buying a proper, reusable water bottle. You can also avoid using straws in restaurants and refuse to take a lid for a takeaway coffee. Every little helps. It’s a basic case of supply and demand. If millions of people suddenly stop using drinking straws then less of them will be made and less of them will find their way into landfills or our oceans.
The important thing is that once Coastal Cleanup Day is over, we still work together to reduce litter in our outdoor spaces. Every time you go for a walk, aim to pick up just one piece of plastic. If you find a local area that is particularly bad, take photos. Use the power of social media to bring it to people’s attention. The more we take a collective responsibility for a local areas, the cleaner and healthier we’ll all be.
So, will you join us on Coastal Cleanup Day and make a difference to your local area? Still not sure? This pretty scary infographic from www.divein.com may just persuade you…