#2minutebeachclean14 Feb, 2019
We are a growing family of beach lovers rolling up our sleeves to help rid the world’s beaches of marine litter and plastic pollution, two minutes at a time.
We believe that every piece of litter removed from the beach matters. So it doesn’t matter if you do 2 minutes or 30. Each and every piece of marine
plastic removed from the beach is a piece that will no longer go on to kill.
Why your #2minutebeachclean makes a difference
Aside from having a dirty beach with items on it that are a risk to our health and potentially damaging to the local economy, there are lots of very good reasons to remove plastic from the marine environment.
So while a 2 minute beach clean might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things it is important. Every piece of plastic that you remove from the marine environment is no longer a danger to the animals that still live there. They won’t break down into micro plastics, strangle seabirds or mammals or end up being ingested.
Also, consider your own wellbeing in this too. Beach cleaning gets you outside. It enables you to take care of nature and that brings a feeling of wellbeing. It helps you to understand your local patch –and enables you to understand how it’s doing - and it helps to keep you healthy and fit and feeling good. That’s important!
Why plastic doesn’t belong in the marine environment
- Old fishing nets and rope can entangle seals, sea birds, cetaceans and fish and kill them slowly. Reports of entanglement have shown to affect a 135 different marine species.
- Large nets can carry on fishing (we call this ghost fishing) forever and could kill all kinds of animals, from fish to whales, with no human to intervene and release them or haul them in. It is needless.
- Plastic doesn’t biodegrade like organic material and will just keep on breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that could take hundreds, if not thousands of years to degrade. These small pieces can be eaten by wild life and may enter the food chain. Recent studies prove that even plankton can eat tiny plastic fragments.
- Plastics absorb harmful toxins in seawater that can accumulate up the food chain. Chemicals added to plastics during manufacturing to give them specific properties can also leach into the marine environment or organisms.
- Animals and birds mistake plastics for food and eat it. The example everyone always uses is turtles mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish. This plastic will stay in the animal’s stomach, as some species can’t regurgitate or pass it, and will eventually kill it.
How does it work?
The beach clean station is located at the main beach entrance where you will find an A-Frame board with information how to beach clean. Please call in to our visitor centre prior to the start of your beach clean to pick up a litter picker and bag, fill it up with litter for 2 minutes or more and dispose of the litter in a nearby agreed bin or recycling points. Used carrier bags are to be placed back into the holder on the board ready for the next user. Please return your litter picker to the visitor centre and advise the staff of the location of the litter you collected so they can arrange for it to be picked up and disposed/recycled.
If you are a group and wish to arrange a #2minbeachclean. Please advise the staff before hand at the visitor centre who will get all the equipment ready for you. Once you have completed your beach clean, return your litter pickers to the visitor centre and advise the staff were your litter has been left so they can advise the park staff to collect and recycle the waste material you collected.
Don't forget to tag us in your photos of your beach clean using #2minutebeachclean
Looking after number one
This is the small print. It’s the bit where we tell you all the boring stuff that you need to remember when you are out on your 2 minute beach clean. Even though you don’t need insurance or risk assessments or any kind of paperwork to do your bit, you must stay safe at all costs. Your safety is the most important thing.
Please also remember that you are on the beach at your own risk so, whatever you do, don’t take unnecessary risks. The following is a guide to help you to stay safe.
Why plastic doesn’t belong in the marine environment
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you plan to be back.
- Be aware of the tide and don’t allow yourself to get cut off.
- If you can, wear protective gloves or use a litter picker. If you can’t, wash your hands afterwards.
- Supervise your children and make sure they don’t pick up sharps or poo or dead things.
- Do not pick up needles or glass or any other sharps unless you have somewhere safe to put them. Old or used needles MUST be handled carefully and disposed of properly. Ask your local surgery.
- Do not pick up anything organic that is not beach litter. We’re talking dead animals or birds and poo. Leave it be. If it is a sea bird or marine mammal, report it. In the UK report it to The Marine Strandings Network on 03452012626. www.ukstrandings.org
- If you find a marine mammal (dolphin, seal etc) please report it. This is very important if the animal is still alive. Putting them back in the sea can be a risk, especially if young. In the UK report it to The British Divers Marine Life Rescue on their RESCUE HOTLINE: 01825 765546 during office hours. (07787 433412 out of office hours.www.bdmlr.org.uk
- If you find ordnance (old shells or bullets) call the Coastguard or notify the park.
In the UK this is on 999.
- If you find what you suspect to be dangerous chemicals or substances, leave them alone and call the Coastguard or notify the park.
- Dress properly for the weather and conditions.
- Be careful under overhanging cliffs or below unstable areas and be VERY wary of landslips and cliff falls, especially after heavy rain.
- Be careful over wet rocks. Walk on the barnacles as they give better grip.
- If you find anything of value that is technically salvage, you must report it to the Receiver of the Wreck (this is UK only – local rules may apply).
- Please dispose of your finds properly. Some plastics may be recycled. Please check locally what can and can’t be recycled.
Ready? Great. Go and do your #2minutebeachclean with our blessing and grateful thanks.
Just take care and be sensible.
Beach cleaning is a wonderful, healthy and often fun activity. And it’s doing something great for your local environment.
Every bottle removed from the beach is a bottle that won’t end up in the food chain, killing a marine animal or polluting the ocean.
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