It will come as no surprise that we’re passionate about the British shoreline. Since our birth in Salcombe we’ve been inspired by the coast, but now Britain’s beaches need our help. We’ve partnered with Oceanographic Magazine to bring you the tips you’ll need to host you very own beach clean-up. Round up your friends, roll up your sleeves and dig in.
WHILE ANYONE CAN POTTER ALONG THEIR FAVOURITE COASTLINE PICKING UP BEACH DEBRIS – JUST CHECK OUT #GREATBRITISHBEACHCLEAN OR #2MINUTEBEACHCLEAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA – IT’S MUCH MORE FUN TO DO IT TOGETHER WITH A FRIEND OR YOUR HOUSE.
First things first, you need to pick a 100m stretch of beach near you and gather friends and family up to a small group of six willing volunteers. As a lot of us are staycationing this year, it’s even more vital that we look after our beaches. Charities are encouraging participants to become citizen scientists – recording what they find to form a national picture of litter across the country, that will then inform policy change. With an increase in single-use plastic seen during the pandemic, they are particularly interested to look at the effect of masks, gloves, hand wipes and other items on our precious marine environment and its wildlife – and you could be part of this.
Next up, bring some reusable gloves, litter pickers and garden trugs. Avoid single-use plastic bags if at all possible. It’s also important to make sure you know beforehand what the weather will be doing and be prepared for all possibilities. Sunscreen (Lush do a non-toxic offering), sunhats, water (in reusable bottles) jumpers, raincoats and warm hats – this is the UK after all.
On the day, gather your group, set a time limit and get going, keeping social distancing. Make it fun for those involved by playing some music or offering a prize for whoever collects the most. If you’re feeling extra organised, you could ask everyone to bring a reusable cup for a celebratory post-beach clean drink.
Beach cleans are a simple and effective way of stopping debris from ending up in the ocean, but your findings can also provide helpful scientific data for initiatives such as Lizzie Carr’s #PlasticPatrol and the Marine Conservation Society’s #Beachwatch. Sort it, take pictures, and log it on relevant apps and websites so that these honourable organisations can get a better idea of where it’s all coming from. If everybody did this, they would have plenty of data to take to decision makers, policy makers and the companies whose logos are showing up a lot to find potential solutions.
Finally, dispose of it correctly. Recycle or bin every little piece – just remember to give it a bit of a wash if you’re popping it into the recycling. After the beach clean, be sure to wash hands thoroughly.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any community beach clean is to shout about it on social media, in email newsletters and to your local newspapers. Since large group beach cleans are off the cards this year, we need to encourage as many people as possible to adopt a 100m stretch of beach near them and get cracking.
DON’T FORGET TO GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK. YOU’RE LIVING PROOF THAT ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE, SO TAKE THE TIME TO FEEL PROUD OF THE GOOD DEED YOU’VE DONE FOR THE OCEANS.
The Marine Conservation Society is running its annual Great British Beach Clean from the 18th – 25th September. To find out how you can get involved, click here.
Pick up your copy of Oceanographic Magazine from your local Crew store and online here.