Sand Bay Beach Clean - Replenish Weston
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Plastic waste on our beach

Sand Bay is a beautiful section of coast in Weston-super-Mare. Forget your donkeys and arcades this stunning coastline, an extension of the Mendip Hills, is National Trust territory.

It would be easy to believe from a stroll along this beach that plastic and other manmade waste isn’t really a problem here. WRONG! With thanks to the Marine Conservation Society call for volunteers to take part in the Beach Clean Survey on Sunday 9th April 2017, my eyes have been well and truly opened.

A big shout out to the Seaquarium for advertising the event on Facebook, I certainly wouldn’t have known it was happening otherwise. More of this sort of thing pretty please!

I would heartily recommend future events to anyone and everyone. You can find out about upcoming beach cleans near you here, and you can also organise your own.

What was involved?

Lauren, the Marine Conservation Society organiser, made the day informative and enjoyable. Thank you Lauren!

We met in the carpark to collect our bibs, gloves and litter pickers before heading over to the beach to listen to our instructions.

Once gathered in our impressively large crowd we split into small groups with a black bag and clipboard each. Our task was simple; collect and record the manmade items we found in a 100m stretch of drift line (the place where debris is left behind after high tide, in this case, just past the dunes as you immediately walk onto the beach).

 

 

What did we find?

So many cotton bud sticks. In our small group we found 145 cotton bud sticks in an hour. I’ve heard about the campaign asing UK retailers to end plastic cotton bud manufacture – which I urge you to sign here – but seeing the amount strewn in the between the seaweed with my own eyes really hit home the scale of the problem.

I was also struck by the amount of plastic bottle lids we found. I’ve made a promise to myself to always (try to remember to) take my own refillable water bottle out and about with me in the future. Such a simple way for me to contribute to reducing the amount of plastic waste out there. There are of course other reasons not to buy bottled water but that’s a whole other discussion.

 

I will share the full results from the beach survey when they are shared with me. In the meantime though, I would urge you to get involved by:

 

Want to help? There are three further beach clean events and surveys happening in Sand Bay 2017. Click here to find out where and when.

Are you more of a leader than a volunteer? Good for you! Anyone can organise their own beach clean event and it will be listed on the Marine Conservation Society site. What are you waiting for?

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