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Love Cornwall Blog

The Importance Of Beach Cleans

beach plastic

Cornish beaches are in need of our help due to the amount of plastic being washed up on our sands. The term plastic is derived from the Latin and ancient Greek language, meaning ‘to be moulded and shaped’ – which is exactly what it’s doing to our planet now, in a negative way.

You can find plastic in every aspect of our lives: from the cups filled with morning coffee, keyboards which are used at work, mobile phones, food packaging to lunch boxes – all plastic. It’s only in recent years in which we are seeing the devastating effects from the production of plastic and its effect on our oceans and wildlife.

Since Storm Imogen, Surfers Against Sewage has launched its annual Big Spring Beach Clean which will take place from the 11th – 17th April. Will you be joining?

beach

Surfers Against Sewage are constant activists stating their intentions of keeping UK waters and beaches litter free. Driven through sheer passion and love for the ocean, the organisation receives constant growing support through more and more campaigners each year. Their message and motive is clear - we must wipe out the plastic before the plastic wipes out marine life.

That is why we need to take action now before the plastic plague pollutes our oceans to the extent that there’s no return. That is exactly the case of what’s happening across UK and Cornwall in a desperate battle to clean up our coasts and protect the wildlife that are seriously endangered. The amount of litter swept into the British coasts have doubled in the last fifteen years, and it’s time to take action.

Ecowatch have reported that by 2050, the threats to marine life will be so severe, that the amount of plastic and human waste in the ocean will overtake the amount of fish worldwide. These alarming facts become more concrete with our current statistics revolving around our plastic wastage societies.

Each year the amount of plastic thrown away would circle the earth four times, plus each year these figures rise parallel with human population and our deteriorating care for nature. Plastic is not a substance that goes away quickly, it is a hurdle that takes over five hundred years to biodegrade.

Meaning that the million plastic bags used each minute will clog our planet for centuries, whilst killing and endangering millions of animals for generations, let alone the staggering amounts that will be dumped in years to come.

The system needs to change. The current situation is not sustainable and we cannot continue to mindlessly destroy our planet and expect it to give us renewable sources in return. Only 5% of plastics we produce are recovered, that is why we all must take drastic action to cut down our plastic consumption and clean our oceans before it is too late.

Across Cornwall in recent years has seen a rejuvenation in cleaning our coasts and prioritising nature over ourselves. People from all ages and backgrounds have joined together as one society that is motivated to keeping Cornwall’s natural beauty intact.

The Nation Trust is urgently asking more and more volunteers to get involved to get our beaches ready for the summer. They report that over 100,000 marine animals die every year through ingestion and entanglement from items littered on our beaches and at sea.

Although the Cornish beaches do compare to the damage in Indonesian waters, eco activists are still reporting that in few years our conditions could potentially match Bali’s filthy waters. This will not just affect Cornwall’s wildlife and coasts, but also its economy. If the natural beauty across the county is tarnished, than it shall result in a negative decline in tourist numbers and visitors annually. This means that Cornwall’s main income will feel the weight of the pollution the most, destroying hundreds of small businesses that rely on tourism numbers each summer. This may result in a major crisis involving unemployment numbers dramatically rising and job security becoming dangerously stretched for many citizens.  

With society coming together with activities such as beach cleans, this can minimise the effect on the environment and wildlife. Other ways you can minimise the effects of plastic is to reduce the amount you use, one simple change is to dump the plastic bottles and use a reusable water bottle. You will save money but also reduce the amount of plastic being used.

Throughout the year there are ongoing beach cleans across the county, but they are always in need of more hands. Information regarding your local beach clean can be found on the Marine Conservation Society website with further information of how you can make a stand against pollution in your region. 

Guest writer: Stanley Morris

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