Media Contact: Sinead McCoy
Telephone: 087 1347950 / 01 4002210
Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean 2016
Join the world’s largest coastal cleanup
Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean is taking place on the weekend of the 16th, 17th & 18th of September all over Ireland. Clean Coasts is once again teaming up with the International Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup event. Join us by registering your beach clean on Clean Coasts website, and receive your free Beach Clean pack! www.cleancoasts.org
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.
In 2015, Nearly 100 events were organise as part of Big Beach Clean weekend, involving 1,542 volunteers. An estimated 800,000 volunteers participated internationally with more than 8 million kilograms of litter being collected during this International Coastal Cleanup event.
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.
Clean Coasts is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is funded by the Department of the Housing, Planning, Community and 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 Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Fáilte Ireland and Coca-Cola.
Clean Coasts is made up of two elements; Clean Coasts volunteering and the Green Coast Award. The aim of the Green Coast Award is to recognise beaches of high environmental quality. To achieve the award, beaches must have excellent water quality and have effective and appropriate management to ensure the protection of the natural environment.
The Clean Coasts volunteering effort engages communities in the protection and conservation of their local coastal environment. There are currently over 500 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 2015 Clean Coasts groups removed over 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!