The Big Beach Clean initiative is back, and Clean Coasts, supported by Cully and Sully, are calling people all across Ireland to register to receive clean-up kits and join the world’s biggest clean-up.
In 2021, a record number of over 400 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed 42 tonnes of litter across the whole country. This represented a 5% decrease in litter found across Ireland, compared to the previous year’s campaign, which reflects the incredible work that Irish volunteers do all year round to tackle litter, as well as more conscientious behaviour by beach users.
Last year the event was a great success in counties Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary. In county Cork, volunteers organised clean-ups in 80 different locations, removing almost 7 tonnes of litter over the weekend.
Moreover, Clean Coasts hosted a Big Beach Clean event at Garryvoe Beach in September 2021, where 20 volunteers removed an additional 30kg of marine litter. In county Waterford, volunteers organised clean-ups in 6 different locations, removing over 500kg of litter.
Clean Coasts joined Clean Coasts groups in several locations in the region, including Tramore where two local groups – Tramore Tidy Towns and Tramore Eco Group – hosted two fantastic and very successful beach clean events, also as part of Vitamin Sea Festival. County Tipperary saw over 100 volunteers organising clean-ups in 7 different locations, removing approximately 600kg of litter and in county Limerick, over 50 volunteers organised clean-ups in 4 different locations, removing approximately 320kg of litter.
CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
The Big Beach Clean is an annual call to action and this year it will run from September 16 to 18, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy. This call-to-action invites communities and volunteers around the country to remove litter from around the Irish coast after the end of the bathing season.
This initiative is also an opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a worldwide citizen science project, which entails collecting the amount and types of litter on Irish beaches and filling in Clean Coasts’ Marine Litter Data Cards. This will help heighten awareness about the issue of marine litter, serving as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem and helping shape future policies and campaigns.
The 2021 results have been shared with Ocean Conservancy and, in Ireland and regionally, they have been used to shape Clean Coasts campaigns designed both for registered groups and the general public, tackling the top 10 offenders, such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles and food packaging.
This year, Clean Coasts are calling not only Clean Coasts groups and people who would traditionally be involved in environmental activities to join. Clean Coasts, with the support of Content Creators, are asking everybody in the community to get involved and find out more about the benefits of taking part in a beach clean and international citizen science project, which go beyond the environmental aspect of the initiative.
NOT LIVING BY THE COAST? NO PROBLEM…
Deric Hartigan (TV presenter), James Kavanagh (presenter and owner of food business Currabinny), Aoife McNamara (fashion designer) and Niamh Maher (travel expert and blogger from Exploring Ireland) are joining us this year to make a difference for our ocean and are hoping to inspire more people to sign up for the Big Beach Clean.
Our ocean supports livelihood and certain businesses, from hospitality to tourism, to fishing, and more depend on a clean and healthy ocean. And in the overall climate emergency, some people want to be an active part of the solution, and by taking part in this citizen science project, they will be able to play a key role in the establishment of future policies and campaigns.
Registration will again be open to all residents of Ireland, no matter how far from the coast they are based. Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities. Getting involved in the Big Beach Clean is a way for residents of non-coastal counties to help prevent litter entering our waterways and seas by holding a clean-up, no matter where they are in the country and tackling the problem at source.
As sea lovers and sustainability supporters, Cully and Sully are joining Clean Coasts again and are very excited to be supporting the Big Beach Clean.
To register visit the Clean Coasts website at www.cleancoasts.org