Beach Cleans Alone Aren’t the Answer


We are blown away every time we hold a beach clean by the level of support and involvement we get from the people of Penzance. From babies through to octogenarians and our four-legged friends (even horses!)… the whole community turns out and gets stuck in. Our Autumn Beach Clean, despite the awful weather and a mistake on the date in the local press, still attracted around 40 volunteers who braved the freezing wind and hail to collect dozens of bags of single-use plastic and other marine litter from Wherrytown Beach, the Prom and their surrounding green spaces.

Check out the gallery below to see the kinds of things we found … a definite Halloween theme going on and more evidence of the horror show this time of year is for plastic tat! But it gets us thinking every time about what we do and why it’s important.

Beach Cleans are HUGELY important. They mobilise the community, raise awareness and take tonnes of plastic and other litter off our coastline every year. We have had over 500 volunteers take part in beach cleans this year in Mounts Bay and your time and effort has saved countless items of plastic from the ocean. Thank you for all you do! But … beach cleans alone are not the answer.

We need to stop this tide of litter at source. Wouldn’t it be amazing … as much as we love you all … if we didn’t have to beach clean? Or litter pick in the town’s parks and green spaces? We would sorely miss the amazing sense of community and camaraderie these events create, but it would mean we had adopted a more responsible way of life.

Yes so lots of things we feel we have no control over would need to change … for example what’s on sale in the shops and waste management structure. But taking individual action his THE biggest thing we can do to contribute to that change. Choosing not to buy single-use items, installing a home composter, refill, reuse, mend and make … disposing of the waste we do create responsibly, supporting businesses already making the change to a more ethical future … that’s what makes the difference. Then there’ll be less rubbish created in the first place. Then we can catch up and bond over a sit down cup of coffee and cake … rather than stinky bits of marine litter!

Beach Cleans are an essential part of the package, but they will not solve this problem. We will never, ever remove all the plastic from the ocean. What we can do is stop putting it there.

Find out more about the impact plastic has on our oceans here and for lifestyle tips check out our Life Hacks page.