The Deans Beach and Environment Volunteers organise Saltdean beach clean this April. Nadia Abbas reports
Everyone loves the beach. Whether you’re an all-weather swimmer, someone who likes the promenade or maybe just an occasional visitor, everyone loves the beach.
In the summer our beaches are a bustling haven of activity with surfers, swimmers, and families filling up the seafront. But many of these people are unaware of the amount of rubbish that is left on the beaches. This waste is damaging to marine wildlife and human life, as plastic waste trickles into the food chain over time. One way to tackle this growing problem is to organise beach clean events, which is what The Deans Beach and Environment Volunteers group are doing.
The Deans Beach and Environment Volunteers are a group of volunteers. They raise awareness about ocean litter, and they remove rubbish that has been left on Brighton’s beaches. This organisation has been active for over ten years. They have organised a beach clean event on the 2nd of April 2023 at Saltdean beach. It starts at 11am and ends at 12:30pm. This event is open to the public and people will be provided with equipment, such as gloves and litter pickers. People can also bring their own equipment.
Rona Hunnisett, Deans Beach and Environment volunteer, said: “We regularly have more than one hundred people turning up and helping, which is amazing.” Once the litter has been collected, this organisation sorts through it and recycles as much as possible. “We weigh it because we then send the information, we’ve got back to the Environment Agency to say to them, this is the type of stuff we are seeing.”
Some of the waste that is found on the beaches is not recyclable, such as crisp packets and different plastics. These will remain on the beach for many years, and they will be ground down into microplastics. These microplastics end up in the food chain, as they are eaten by the fish and humans will eat the fish. “The oldest thing I’ve seen was a crisp packet which we dated back to 1984, I remember it from when I was a kid. They don’t break down,” said Rona. Other items that this group finds on the beaches includes clothing, fishing boat trays, glass cans, and food wrappers. “Last month we found the most enormous plastic tank, it took three of us to lift it off the beach.”
This volunteer group works with the Marine Conservation Society, who highlight the work of different beach cleaning groups. This group are also participating in the Great British Spring Clean campaign. This is the nation’s biggest environmental campaign, by independent charity Keep Britain Tidy. “We have committed to ten huge bags of rubbish that we are going to take away.”
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