Clean Coasts Warrior – Roisin Finlay

Editor at Outsider Magazine

What does the ocean mean to you?
The sea is really special to me. I like to be beside it, in it, on it. It just calms your soul. 

Was there as instance/memory that first got you engaged with the issue of marine litter/litter/ocean health?
On holidays as a kid. We were lucky enough to have a holiday house in Donabate, Co Dublin. There is a gorgeous, long, safe and sandy beach where we would swim multiple times a day. We’d be so happy when we got a Blue Flag but other years we wouldn’t get it because of pollution due to raw sewage. You’d see the plastic parts of sanitary towels in the water and just think euch. We still go to Donabate all the time. And the story is still the same. Sometimes it’s clean. Sometimes it’s dirty. And it breaks my heart. We need better water treatment plants and people need to stop flushing the wrong stuff down toilets.  

Another time I think marine litter really hit home with me when I was travelling in Asia. There is literally plastic everywhere because as developing countries they don’t have great rubbish collection services. But it made me realise that we use similar levels of plastic. Sure it doesn’t ALL wind up in the sea. But plenty of it does. And where does the rest wind up? In landfill? Well that’s no good. And even though recycling is some help, it’s not the overall solution. We just have to reduce our use of plastic and we have to eradicate marine litter.

Your top advise to those who would like to join us to improving our ocean.
Consider taking up the #2minutebeachclean . It’s such a small thing and if you do it with your friends/kids/family, it has a power message. Hopefully it will make us all more conscious about what plastic we can avoid altogether. And make sure you know what you can flush or not flush.

Why did you get involved with the Clean Coasts programme?
If you love the sea, why wouldn’t you get involved?! We have a really precious resource and we need to protect it.