While beach cleaning at St Bees today we found our first piece of washed up Lego in amongst the usual plastic debris. Why is this so interesting you might ask, well, we’ll try and explain…
On 13 February 1997 a container ship, the Tokio Express, was hit by a wave about 20 miles off the Cornish coast. The wave tilted the ship so violently that 62 containers were lost overboard. One of those containers was filled with nearly 4.8 million pieces of Lego, many of which were nautical themed. Soon after cutlasses, flippers, scuba gear, seagrass, spear guns and the odd octopus began to wash up on Cornwall’s beaches. So it’s possible that our tiny piece of Lego sea grass has been bobbing about in the ocean, not breaking down, being nibbled by fish and other marine creatures for over 20 years before drifting ashore on our coast to, finally, be found in a beach clean and stop being part of the marine pollution problem.
Plastic in the sea doesn’t just decompose, or go away. Our last blog post has lots of ideas about how you can reduce the plastic you use everyday, or if you want to see if you can find some #legolostatsea of your own join us on our next beach clean, all the details are on our Events page. To find out more about the lost Lego and see when other pieces have been washed up have a look at the Lego Lost at Sea facebook page.
If you’ve been inspired by watching Blue Planet II and are concerned about the plastic pollution problem that is currently affecting our oceans then there are lots of ways you can get involved to help our oceans. Why not make 2018 the year that you commit to helping tackle the marine litter crisis? We’ve listed a few easy ways you can get involved or make small changes in your daily life to help out without noticing!
Switch the stick – we’ve written before about finding lots of cotton bud sticks while we’re beach cleaning along the Colourful Coast. Plastic cotton buds are among the thousands of sanitary products flushed down toilets everyday instead of being put in the bin, and the plastic sticks end up on our beaches. Please remember to bin cotton buds – they don’t belong down the toilet. You can help even further by choosing cotton buds with cardboard sticks instead of plastic.
2 minute beach clean – simply spend 2 minutes picking up litter when you’re next on the beach. There’s no need for equipment and you can do it anywhere, any time, on your own or with others. Join the #2minutebeachclean family by tagging your photos on facebook, instagram or twitter and share photos of your efforts.
Join a beach clean – we organise beach cleans alongside a fantastic group of organisations (Surfers Against Sewage, the Marine Conservation Society and Cumbria Coastline Cleanup) along the Colourful Coast and many others take place further afield along the whole Cumbrian coast. All the equipment you need is provided, there’s often cake or biscuits and you get the chance to meet new people while feeling great about helping the environment! We’re finalising details of the beach cleans we’ll be running in 2018 so check back for more details soon.
For more ideas about how to get involved or make changes the check out the BBC’s article.