THE Plastic Movement recently held their second Dawn til Dusk beach clean, which saw over 200 volunteers pick up 835kgs of plastic throughout the day — a fantastic effort from all involved.
On Sunday, April 6, the cleaning began at 6am at Crackington Haven. The Cabin Café opened their doors early to 21 intrepid pickers, including members of the Crackington (Cracky) Crew beach clean group.
Everyone was treated to a glorious sunrise, while enjoying bacon baps and veggie sausages.
It was then on to Widemouth. Under the guidance of Neil Hembrow from Beachcare, and Ado Shorland from Widemouth Task Force, 50 more volunteers continued the great work, with Widemouth Beach House kindly staying open to provide the morning coffee.
Pickers were also able to clean Upton beach and the Bude Lifeboat crew conducted a clean on Summerleaze as well. Several hundred kilograms of waste had been collected before noon.
There was another fantastic turnout at Crooklets. Volunteers also cleaned Mare beach, removing a tyre weighing a staggering 240kgs!
After free coffee and cake, generously provided by Rosie’s Kitchen, it was then on to Northcott and Sandymouth to finish the day.
Removing such a huge volume of plastic from the local beaches in one single day highlights the scale of the problem ocean plastic poses to the North Cornish coast.
Jim Scown, one of the founding members of the Plastic Movement, said: “We would like to personally thank all of our wonderful plastic pickers for helping us remove 835kg of waste from our beaches. The fantastic turnout is a testament to the great work done by everyone across our beaches throughout the year.
“That we were able to pick up so much marine litter also shows the scale of the problem we are facing. To pick up nearly a tonne of plastic on only a few miles of Cornish coast is deeply worrying, but sadly not surprising. The vast majority has been at sea for years, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces in the sun and salt after coming off commercial cargo ships and fishing vessels.
“It’s scary to think how much plastic is still out there and how much is entering the oceans on a daily basis. Plastic pollution is causing undoubted harm to marine life and, as it is then entering the food chain, is quite possibly affecting our health as well. Only through grass roots action, creative solutions and public pressure will real change occur.”
One such community project is led by the Bude Baggers. This group makes Morsbags, turning waste material — such as old curtains — into durable, reusable and stylish bags.
The Bude Baggers have been working with the WI to make as many Morsbags as possible over the winter. These will be distributed to local shops and community projects over the summer, with the aim of reducing the amount of single use plastic bags in Bude.
On Monday, April 24, the Bude Baggers will be holding an event at the Parkhouse Centre, where people can make their own reusable bags. Members of the Plastic Movement will be attending as well. Everyone is welcome to come and try their hand at designing their own reusable bag on the day.
Jim added: “We can’t wait to try our hands at making some (bags) on Monday, April 24. It would be brilliant to have as many helpers as possible!”
The Plastic Movement’s next marathon clean will take place in the autumn. To get involved before then, Widemouth Task Force, the Crackington Crew and Crooklets Recycling and Picking will be cleaning throughout the summer.