Whilst beach clean ups seem to be the new influencer fad, there is more benefit to this than a quick post and 230 likes. We know after reading our article on plastic pollution, that only 10-13% is actually being recycled, so you can be sure as the sunrise some of that is resting on our beaches.
A beach clean-up is an activity where volunteers meet on the coastline and clean up litter that has been left to rot on the shores. Clean ups are absolutely necessary because they improve the coastal and ocean ecosystem. It’s not just plastic that gets left on our beaches, beachgoers have a propensity to leave the rest of their rubbish such as cans, picnic leftovers and coffee cups, which contributes to not only beach pollution but also illness within the local community (should the water become polluted). Beach clean ups are also an attractive opportunity for data collection and making the ocean a safer place. If certain items on beach clean ups are identified as being harmful, then environmental groups or charities can find ways of stopping them sitting on our beaches or entering our oceans.
I think we forget how lucky we are to have beaches and more often than not take them for granted. We use our beaches recreationally and they are an essential part of our lives. If we leave our mess behind, why shouldn’t we take responsibility for our actions? If you google beach clean ups in your local area there are a plethora of opportunities for you to get involved in. If none suit your schedule or you are uber passionate about it, why not organise your own? All you need is the go ahead from your local authority and get together a group of like-minded volunteers. You could partake in a beach clean up whenever it suits you. Whether that’s once a month, once a week, or once a year, every small step you take now is a step closer to cleaning our oceans. Invest some of your time into doing something worthwhile for the planet. Protect the environment and protect our future generations.
Besides the pollution reasons, having a clean beach is essential for a huge proportion of the population. Being near the water is paramount for some people (me included) as it helps relieve anxiety, boost creativity and really, it just makes you feel happy. This tranquil space shouldn’t be spoiled by debris. Research has shown that being close to water makes us more emotionally healthy. It increases blood flow to the brain and heart which induces relaxation. Not only do we need our beaches to be clean for our marine life, but also for humans.
So be conscious, be responsible and be the change.
By Hollie Wilkinson