By Jim Scown (images courtesy of Clive Symm of Symages Photography). Question: what has Rory done to his leg?
On Sunday, April 9th The Plastic Movement held their second Dawn till Dusk beach clean. Over two hundred volunteers picked up 835kgs of plastic throughout the day, a fantastic effort from all involved.
The cleaning began at 6 am at Crackington Haven. The Cabin Cafe opened their doors early to twenty-one intrepid pickers, including members of The Cracky Crew beach cleaning group. Everyone was treated to a glorious sunrise while enjoying bacon baps and veggie sausages.
It was then on to Widemouth. Under the guidance of Neil Hembrow from Beachcare and Ado Shorland of Widemouth Task Force, fifty more volunteers continued the great work, with Widemouth Beach House kindly staying open to provide the morning coffee.
Pickers were also able to clean Upton beach and the Bude Lifeboat crew conducted a clean on Summerleaze as well. Several hundred kilograms of waste had been collected before noon.
There was another fantastic turnout at Crooklets. Volunteers also cleaned Maer beach, removing a tyre weighing a staggering 240kgs! After free coffee and cake, generously provided by Rosie’s Kitchen, it was then on to Northcott and Sandymouth to finish the day.
Removing such a huge volume of plastic from the local beaches in one single day highlights the scale of the problem ocean plastic poses to the North Cornish coast. Jim Scown, one of the founding members of The Plastic Movement, had this to say:
“We would like to personally thank all of our wonderful plastic pickers for helping us remove 835Kg of waste from our beaches. The fantastic turnout is a testament to the great work done by everyone across our beaches throughout the year.
“That we were able to pick up so much marine litter also shows the scale of the problem we are facing. To pick up nearly a tonne of plastic on only a few miles of Cornish coast is deeply worrying, but sadly not surprising. The vast majority has been at sea for years, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces in the sun and salt after coming off commercial cargo ships and fishing vessels.
“It’s scary to think how much plastic is still out there and how much is entering the oceans on a daily basis. Plastic pollution is causing undoubted harm to marine life and, as it is then entering the food chain, is quite possibly affecting our health as well. Only through grassroots action, creative solutions and public pressure will real change occur.”
One such community project is led by The Bude Baggers. This group make Morsbags, turning the waste material, such as old curtains, into durable, reusable, and rather stylish bags. The Bude Baggers have been working with the WI to make as many Morsbags as possible over the winter. These will be distributed to local shops and community projects over the summer, with the aim of reducing the amount of single-use plastic bags in Bude.
On Monday, April 24th The Bude Baggers will be holding an event at The Park House Centre where you can make your own reusable bag. Members of The Plastic Movement will be attending as well. Everyone is welcome to come and try their hand at designing their own reusable bag on the day.
“We’re incredibly grateful to everyone at Bude baggers and the WI for making these Morsbags. It’s such a fantastic idea, a great way to reuse materials and promote sustainability, and they look great! We can’t wait to try our hands at making some on Monday April 24th. It would be brilliant to have as many helpers as possible!
We’re especially delighted that all the hard work will lead to a reduction in the amount of single use plastic bags in Bude. Our aim is for Bude and the local area to become a beacon for sustainability in Cornwall and beyond. Passionate people behind community schemes like this give us the belief that that dream will increasingly become reality. Keep an eye out for these Morsbags in local shops later in the summer.”
The Plastic Movement’s next marathon clean will take place in the Autumn. But if you would like to get involved before then, Widemouth Task Force, The Crackington Crew, and Crooklets Recycling and Picking will be cleaning throughout the summer. For more information, search The Plastic Movement on Facebook and Instagram.