Above: Some of the litter pickers and recorders on our september beach clean. Photo Jo Kaye.
The annual Great British Beach Clean and Survey for the Lancashire area group happened on Sunday 16th September at Half Moon Bay Heysham. 46 volunteers took part and removed 22.5 kg rubbish across the whole beach. Including the 200 hundred metres designated for surveys. Our volunteers found 441 small pieces of plastic and 78 larger pieces as well as various other items. That means those pieces of plastic won’t be ingested by marine creatures or birds. Encouragingly, the beach at Half Moon Bay seemed relatively clean as it has for the last few beach cleans.
The issue of marine plastic is very much in the news at the moment and research by Thoughtworks reported in the Guardian that 62% of 2,000 people surveyed were concerned to reduce plastic packaging and use recyclable materials. The supermarket Waitrose has pledged to remove traditional plastic bags from loose fruit and vegetables from its stores by March 2019 and also the 5p bags by the same date. With public support for these initiatives growing, this is very welcome and it seems Iceland, Asda, Morrisons and the Co-op are all taking action too.
Right: Picking litter at Half Moon Bay. Photo Nicola Darbyshire.
The Marine Conservation Society has been running the annual beach cleaning events for the last 24 years and expects 2018 to beat all records with 7,391 volunteers registering at 432 coastal sites.
Last year 718 pieces of rubbish were collected per 100 metres of beach, much of the waste being plastics.
MCS has called on the government to introduce a charge on single use plastic items such as straws, cutlery and cups.
We look forward to the results of this year’s survey from MCS and thank everyone again for their efforts at Half Moon Bay. Please check our website for future beach deals dates and we hope to see you again!
Lancs MCS Beach Clean coordinator