Once again this autumn we organised a Great British Beach Clean at Whitehaven. Now in it’s 25th year the Great British Beach Clean, coordinated by the Marine Conservation Society, is the biggest beach clean and survey in the UK.
The information volunteers have collected over the last 25 years has helped make some of the most significant impacts on beach litter ever – the plastic bag charge, microplastics banned in personal care products, better wet wipe labelling, and massive support for a tax on ‘on the go’ plastic single use items.
Trying to get used to the survey forms always takes a little while so perhaps it was good that the beach at Whitehaven was surprisingly clean. However, a few steps along the beach and looking amongst the rocks and we soon found enough litter to keep us going. In total the four of us collected 269 pieces of litter in just one hour. There was rope, cigarette butts, plastic cups, paper, plastic, glass, nails, lolly sticks and straws. Joseph even collected some rope that was nearly as tall as he is!
The full report from the beach clean can be found her 180915 Whitehaven North Shore – Survey 15 Sep 2018. It shows that most of the litter we collected was plastic or polystyrene with paper and cardboard a close second. Most of this was rubbish we were collecting and disposing of before it reached the sea. We had surprisingly little sanitary waste which is different from when we beach clean at St Bees.
As always a massive thank you to our dedicated volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning and came out to beach clean in some grey and windy weather!