A fantastically productive day of beach cleaning, topped off with a thought-provoking seminar by Professor Richard Thompson.
Our plastics awareness day kicked off with a beach clean at Jennycliff, teaming up with Leonie Richardson from the Marine Conservation Society and 16 strong army of eager volunteers. In approximately 2 hours, 6 full bags of marine litter were picked up, of which 81.2% of the total haul were plastic. Of the 81.2%, 31.4% were classed as unspecified fragments; plastics that have broken up in the sea, further highlighting the need to increase awareness of the impacts that plastic can have on our oceans.
Following the beach clean, our 'Wine & Science' event set out to further raise awareness of the plastic problem. We welcomed Peter Kohler from The Plastic Tide, who offered a novel take on how citizen science can make a huge impact on coastal plastic pollution. The Plastic Tide is using drone technology and algorithms to measure the increasing plastic build up on our beaches. The Plastic Tide is a fantastic way to get you, citizen scientists, directly involved in conserving the marine environment from the comfort of your own home. For more information about The Plastic Tide and how to get involved visit their website at https://www.theplastictide.com/.
Plastic from food wrapping can be a real problem when entering the marine environment, and is often mistaken for food. Our beach clean earlier in the day returned 289 pieces of food related plastics, amounting to a total of 30.52% of our total plastic haul! CoCoast Field Assistant, Leoni Adams, provided home made food for the evening event, all of which was 100% free from plastic packaging, including homemade bread, soup, crackers and cheese! Well done Leoni!
We also welcomed Professor Richard Thompson to the MBA to deliver an insightful seminar on the causes of marine pollution and possible ways of combating the plastic problem. Professor Richard Thompson is one of the UK’s leading researchers into plastic and microplastic pollution within the marine environment, with over 20 years experience in this area. In fact, he was one of the first researchers in the UK to highlight the issue of plastic pollution.
Many thanks from all of us at CoCoast SW to all of our guests, speakers and volunteers for helping make the event such a great success.
If you would like to make a difference, join CoCoastSW at the national Marine Conservation Society Great British Beach Clean at Widemouth on the Sunday 17th September 2017 – register