We all relish our holidays to Cornwall and the joy of their vast sandy beaches, so here’s our chance to help ensure these spectacular destinations remain clean and safe for everyone.
With so much media attention focusing on the effects of our waste on marine life, the oceans and our coastal landscape, Beach Cleans are an excellent opportunity to be proactive and to address a small part of the overall problem.
All this unnecessary waste is dangerous for wildlife and potentially anything or anyone using the sea and the beach.
In an attempt to make a difference, the local surf schools based along the North coast regularly run organised beach cleans. You’ll find them taking place up and down the county – Fistral Beach, Towan Beach, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay, Polzeath, Portcothan and many many more; all helping to make for a cleaner Cornwall.
Why not check if there are any organised Beach Cleans taking place near to where you are staying and offer a couple of hours of your holiday time taking part.
Beach cleans are fun and sociable too, the whole family can join in go! It’s also a great way to explore your local beach or discover somewhere new. Simply grab a bag, a pair of gloves and every piece of plastic picked up is a positive step towards a plastic free coastline.
Here are a few ideas on how to locate a beach clean near your Cornish Seaview Cottage
National Trust Beach Cleans
The National Trust run free beach cleans all over the county at different dates during the year. With gloves, bags and litter pickers provided, this is a great way to get involved and do your bit. Dogs on leads are welcome, and supervised kids are encouraged to come along and lend a helping hand.
Father and daughter duo Rob and Emily are the founders of Beach Guardian, and are on a mission to keep the Cornish coastline plastic free. Follow their Facebook page for their upcoming beach cleans and go along to one. Emily has a degree in marine conservation and is a font of knowledge on all things beachcombing.
Find out more about Beach Guardian.
Surfers Against Sewage
This inspiring charity was set up in 1990 and was founded by people who were fed up with seeing pollution in our seas and on our beaches. The charity is now recognised as one of the leading authorities on marine conservation. Support them by heading to one of their ‘beach cleans’, participating in a #MiniBeachClean or contact with one of their regional reps to use one of SAS’s Beach Clean Boxes to help you out.
2 Minute Beach Clean
Cornwall based 2 Minute Beach Clean is a not-for-profit organisation that was set up to show that any action, big or small, is better than inaction. Their message is simple; spend two minutes picking up litter whenever and wherever you can… Pick it, tag it at #2minutebeachclean, then recycle what you can and bin the rest. Spreading the message on social media encourages others to do the same and your drop in the ocean joins a tidal force of beach cleans happening all around the world!
Going it Alone
If you are doing your own mini beach clean, remember take the rubbish home with you and recycle what you can.
DID YOU KNOW? – Here are 10 frightening facts about ocean pollution
Fact 1: Plastic is the most common element that is found in the ocean. It is harmful for the environment as it does not break down easily and is often considered as food by marine animals.
Fact 2: The biggest source of pollution in the ocean is directly from land based sources, such as oil, dirt, septic tanks, farms, motor vehicles. Thousands of tons of waste and rubbish are dumped into the ocean on a daily basis.
Fact 3: Over one million seabirds are killed by ocean pollution each year. Three hundred thousand dolphins and porpoises die each year as a result of becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets, among other items. One hundred thousand sea mammals are killed in the ocean by pollution each year.
Fact 4: Even though much of the rubbish and waste dumped into the ocean is released hundreds of miles away from land, it still washes up on beaches and coastal areas, and affects everything in between. Every marine animal is affected by man-made chemicals released in the water.
Fact 5: There is an island of rubbish twice the size of Texas inside the Pacific Ocean: the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is the largest oceanic rubbish damp in the entire world. There, the number of floating plastic pieces outnumbers total marine life six to one in the immediate vicinity.
Fact 6: Oil is the fastest source of deterioration to the ocean, being far more harmful than rubbish and waste. However, only a small percentage of oil (around 12%) dumped in the ocean comes as a result of actual oil spills. Most oil causing harm in the ocean is a result of drainage from land.
Fact 7: Not all sources of contamination in the ocean come from just oil, rubbish and solid wastes. The dumping of radioactive waste from nuclear reactors, industrial waste (such as heavy metals and acids), and drained sewage are also heavy contributors to pollution.
Fact 8: Small animals at the bottom of the food chain absorb the chemicals as part of their food. These small animals are then eaten by larger animals, that again increases the concentration of chemicals. Animals at the top of the food chain have contamination levels millions times higher than the water in which they live.
Fact 9: Rubbish such as plastic bottles, aluminium cans, shoes, packaging material, if not disposed correctly, can reach the sea and the same rubbish can again reach the sea shore where it pollutes beaches and affects local tourism industry.
Fact 10: As 70% of the earth is covered with water, people actually assumed that all pollutants would be diluted and disappear. But in reality, they have not disappeared and their effects can be easily seen as they have enter the food chain.