Are you passionate about keeping our beaches and oceans clean?
You don't have to wait for organised beach cleans to get involved – you can organise your own!
Whether you want to do it solo or as a group activity, this blog post is the ULTIMATE guide to setting up your own beach clean.
Litter on the beach, especially plastic, can end up in the ocean, causing harm to marine life and polluting the ocean. In fact, ocean plastic pollution has become a global crisis, with an estimated 8 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year.
One of the biggest threats to marine life is ghost nets - 640,000 tonnes of the stuff are dumped in our oceans each year. These nets also wash up on beaches around the world and can be deadly for wildlife, entangling them and causing injury or death.
By participating in a beach clean, you can help to remove these dangerous nets from the environment and protect the animals that call the ocean home.
The location you choose for your beach clean is an important factor to consider. Ideally, you want a location that has a lot of litter and debris to collect, as this will make your efforts worthwhile. That being said, consider cleaning up the surrounding parks and streets too, there is always litter to pick!
If you're planning to organise a group clean-up, it's important to reach out to your local council for assistance. Many councils have resources available that can be used for litter picking and beach cleaning, such as gloves, bags, and litter pickers. Most councils will have groups that conduct local clean-ups, maybe you can hop on one.
Now that you've chosen your UK beach location and planned your beach clean, it's time to gather your equipment and supplies.
Here are some essential items you will need:
- Reusable gloves: These can be any type of glove, as long as they are durable and protect your hands.
- Bin bags: Bring plenty of bin bags with you, in different sizes if possible. Make sure they are strong enough to hold the weight of litter and won't tear easily.
- Litter pickers: If you have access to litter pickers, these can make the job much easier and less back-breaking. However, if you don't have any, don't worry! You can still collect litter using gloves and your hands.
- First aid kit: It's always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand, just in case of any accidents.
If you're not sure where to find the equipment you need, consider reaching out to organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage. They can help you plan your beach clean and may even provide equipment or advice.
Remember that even if you don't have proper equipment, you can still do your bit to clean up litter. Wear gloves if you can and dispose of litter responsibly. Let's work together to keep our beaches clean and healthy for our eco-friendly pets to enjoy!
When planning a beach clean, safety is a key consideration. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Weather: In the UK, beach weather can be unpredictable. Make sure you check the forecast before you plan your beach clean. High winds or storms can make the beach dangerous, so it may be best to reschedule for another day.
- Gloves: When picking up litter, it's important to protect your hands. Wear thick gloves that are durable and waterproof to avoid cuts and scratches.
- Sharps: Be aware of any sharps or hazardous materials that could be hidden among the litter. These could include broken glass, needles or chemicals. Be sure to handle these items with caution and dispose of them safely.
Now that you've gathered your team and equipment and have familiarised yourself with safety considerations, it's time to get down to business and conduct your beach clean. Here are a couple of tips on how to make the most of your efforts:
- Focus on the high tide line: The high tide line is the area where the water and debris are pushed up onto the beach by the tide. This area typically accumulates a lot of litter, and cleaning it up can make a big impact on the cleanliness of the beach.
- Target areas with high foot traffic: Areas such as entrances to the beach, boardwalks, and near beachside cafes are all places where people tend to congregate. As such, they also tend to accumulate more litter. By targeting these areas, you can help ensure that visitors to the beach are greeted with a clean and inviting environment.
By following these tips and taking care to conduct a thorough clean-up, you'll be doing your part to protect the environment and make your local UK beach a cleaner and more pleasant place to be.
Once you have collected all the litter, it's important to sort and dispose of it properly. Here are some things to consider:
- Separating recyclable and non-recyclable items - this will make it easier for you to dispose of the litter correctly.
- Sorting the litter into categories - you could categorize the litter according to its material or the type of item it is, such as plastic bottles, straws, or food packaging.
- Using separate bags for different types of litter - this will make it easier to dispose of the litter in the right place.
- Checking with the local authorities on the appropriate way to dispose of the litter - this could involve taking it to a recycling center, landfill, or arranging for it to be collected.
- Making sure that the litter is properly secured before disposing of it - this will prevent it from being blown away or scattered.
Remember: litter can harm the environment and wildlife if it's not disposed of properly. By taking the time to sort and dispose of it responsibly, you're helping to make a positive difference to the world around us.
Celebrating your efforts can be as simple as taking a group photo with your litter bags, enjoying a well-deserved picnic on the beach, or sharing your experience on social media.
Please share on socials and tagging @tanglemission so that we can celebrate you too! This will help to inspire others to get involved and create a positive ripple effect in your community. This World Ocean Day we’re encouraging everyone and their dog to get involved and help us keep our planet clean!
Remember, every little bit helps when it comes to protecting our planet and preserving our natural resources. By organising your own beach clean, you are doing your part in making a positive impact and creating a better future for us all.