The Final Straw Foundation is back cleaning our beaches, and it needs your help.
Emsworth-based environmental charity the Final Straw Foundation is calling on volunteers to get involved as it celebrated its first official beach clean up post-Covid.
Over 55 volunteers attended Final Straw Foundation’s beach clean on 5 June 2021, World Environment Day, on Hayling Island, Hampshire, spread out along around 2 miles of shoreline and footpaths.
In just over two hours, in blazing sunshine, families and children collected 240 lbs - just over 100kg - of litter, including four shoes, crisp packets, sweet wrappers, straws, cotton bud sticks and plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes.
The charity, which campaigns against single-use plastic waste, says the pandemic crisis has led to a worrying increase in litter on Britain’s beaches.
Final Straw Foundation’s CEO and founder Bianca Carr, said: “We were horrified to see so much convenience food and drinks packaging strewn across the beach. Sadly, the increase in visitors to the countryside and coast during lockdown has led to a rise in plastic waste. We only had time to pick up the larger items and bigger pieces of micro-plastics; there was plenty more that we could have collected. Big thanks to the group of dedicated children who picked up nurdles by hand and learnt all about them and why they damage our wildlife.”
The charity has long been campaigning against nurdles: small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billion are used each year to make plastic products, but many end up washing up on our shores.
Carr added: “Social distancing rules and lockdown restrictions put a halt on our organised cleans for most of last year, so we have a lot of work to do. We’d love to see more people join us; even if they can only make it for an hour, it does make a difference.”
Carr extended her thanks to Norse SE for collecting the waste and several local businesses that volunteered their time to help with the beach clean, including Yellow Dot recruitment and Mill Rythe Coastal village.
The beach clean was attended by Mayor of Havant Rosy Raines and sponsored by Emsworth-based estate agent Treagust & Co, which donated a £1 for every lb of waste collected.
Anyone can attend a beach clean - please visit https://finalstrawfoundation.org/get-involved/beach-cleans/ to find out more. The next one is on 26 June at the Hayling Island Skate Park.
Final Straw Foundation CIO is a registered UK charity that is working with businesses, communities and schools to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and land environment. Charity number 1191500.
Please find the Final Straw Foundation on all social media networks and at www.finalstrawfoundation.org
Photo: Rosy Raines (L), Mayor of Havant, and Bianca Carr, CEO of Final Straw Foundation