Media Contact: Olivia Crossan
Telephone: 087 2045259
Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean
Join the world’s largest coastal cleanup
Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean is taking place on the weekend of the 18th, 19th & 20th of September all over Ireland. Clean Coasts is once again teaming up with the International Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup event. Last year 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries removed 7,257 tonnes of marine litter from the world’s oceans.
Each year millions of tonnes of marine litter enter our seas and oceans, resulting in environmental, economic, health and aesthetic challenges. Clean Coasts are inviting volunteers to join this global coastal clean-up helping remove marine litter from our beautiful coastline and in turn protecting our coastal habitats and marine life.
103 clean-ups took place in Ireland during the 2014 Big Beach Clean, involving 1,442 volunteers who removed an amazing 33,442 pieces of litter.
During the Big Beach Clean, Clean Coasts volunteers are asked to carry out marine litter surveys to quantify the amount and types of litter on Irish beaches. These surveys are aimed at heightening awareness about the issue of marine litter and serve as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.
This year we are delighted to be supported by Dee’s Wholefoods, who will be donating a percentage of sales to the Clean Coasts programme and promoting the Big Beach Clean on packs of her vegan sausage range.
Speaking about the Big Beach Clean, Dee said, “We are delighted to be supporting the Clean Coasts #BigBeachClean 2015 initiative this September and we want you to join us!
At Dee’s we believe that food should not only be tasty, but good for your body and good for the planet too. We’re proud to use organic hand harvested Irish Dulse Seaweed from the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean in our delicious Vegan Sausages, but sadly every year millions of tonnes of litter ends up in the world’s oceans posing major environmental challenges. We want to help keep our precious oceans and beaches litter free, that’s why we’re stickering all our packs to support the #BigBeachClean from the 18th – 20th September and this year we want you to join us!”
Join the movement for litter free seas and register a cleanup for the Big Beach Clean weekend www.cleancoasts.org
Clean Coasts is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is funded by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, Fáilte Ireland and Coca-Cola.
Notes to the Editor:
Clean Coasts engages communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life. The programme is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is currently funded by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, Coca-Cola and Fáilte Ireland.
Clean Coasts is made up of two elements; Clean Coasts volunteering and the Green Coast Award. The Green Coast Award is an award for beaches that meet the excellent standard for water quality as set out in the revised Bathing Water Directive (EC 2006/7/EC) but may not have the necessary built infrastructure to achieve Blue Flag status. An important element of this award is that these beaches have a beach management plan in place and that the local community are engaged in this process.
The Clean Coasts volunteering effort engages communities in the protection and conservation of their local coastal environment. There are currently 403 registered Clean Coasts groups. There are a variety of group types such as community groups, residents associations, tidy towns groups, sports clubs, schools, businesses, universities etc. Clean Coasts organises hundreds of beach clean-ups annually mobilising thousands of volunteers, removing considerable quantities of marine litter from Ireland’s beaches and waterways.
The Marine Litter We Find
We estimate that in 2014 Clean Coasts groups removed a half a million pieces of marine litter from the coast of Ireland. During Clean Coasts Week in May and The Big Beach Clean in September Clean Coasts volunteers carry out marine litter surveys to quantify the abundance and types of marine litter on Irish beaches. These surveys are aimed at heightening awareness about the issue of marine litter and serve as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.
We have found that plastic bottle caps tend to be the number one culprit. Plastic bottles, aluminium drinks cans and cigarette butts tend to be amongst the highest ranking litter items found. Other common items generally in the top ten include food packaging, sweet wrappers and fishing litter such as rope and string and sewage related debris/litter such as baby wipes and cotton bud sticks are also often in the top ten litter items found on Ireland’s beaches. We do also find some unusual items like a shopping trolley handle, a computer keyboard, shoes and even a steering wheel!