Ethical Superstore’s Beach Clean
Plastic Free July is an annual campaign that encourages you to give up plastic for one month. Plastic pollution is having a devastating impact on our planet and marine life and if we all make small changes in our lives, we can all create a huge impact in solving this issue.
To help raise awareness and make our own small difference, we headed down to the beach on one of the hottest days of the year for a team beach clean. Armed with our own litter pickers, we walked up and down the beach collecting as much waste as we possibly could.
We were shocked to see how much litter had been abandoned on the beach from people who were out and enjoying the sun.
The most common items we found were:
• Plastic bottles – we found a wealth of single-use plastic bottles (and their plastic tops) strewn across the beach from people keeping themselves hydrated whilst out in the sun. Items such as plastic bottles can be extremely damaging to wildlife. Animals such as seabirds and fish can mistake these items for prey which can result in them ingesting dangerous plastics. A great and easy way to solve this is by using a reusable water bottle which is easy to carry round and refill.
• Clothing – we all may take a change of clothing to the beach, but we were surprised to see how much clothing had been left on the beach. From socks to towels we found numerous items of clothing and materials along the beach. Many clothing items (especially from fast fashion brands) contain microplastics. A lot of clothing contains plastic and when tiny threads etc. break down from these clothing items they can end up in our oceans and again be extremely detrimental to marine life. We can all make more conscious choices when it comes to our clothes and choose to shop with sustainable brands who use sustainable materials and invest in pieces that will last.
• Cigarettes – there were discarded cigarettes all along the beach and the paths leading up to the beach. When a cigarette is discarded of on the floor they will ultimately end up being swept into drains that will eventually lead to our rivers and oceans. Additionally, toxins, toxic chemicals, and carcinogens from cigarettes are then washed away into our waterways and oceans. Cigarettes should be discarded of properly to prevent this from happening.
A beach clean was a great (and fun) way for the Ethical Superstore team to make a small difference of our own. We also wanted to raise awareness that by simply taking your rubbish away from the beach you will be preventing a lot of it from entering our oceans. By making plastic free swaps such as swapping your plastic water bottle for a reusable one and carrying your food in reusable containers we can all reduce the amount of waste that is left on our beaches. These small acts will make a difference!
We encourage all of you to do your very own beach clean. Lets only leave footprints on our beaches!