The Great British Beach Clean in Redcar was hailed a resounding success with over 100 volunteers showing up on Sunday morning at Majuba to bring awareness to the environmental impact of litter and single use plastics. Organised by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Friends of Redcar (FRED) volunteers carried out a litter pick the length of the beach, sieved for micro-beads and recorded the litter for analysis.
The recorded data is then sent to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and used to lobby government and industry to make changes to legislation and processes. Successes have included the 5p charge on plastic bags and have influenced businesses to swap plastic for bio-degradable alternatives.
Cllr Carl Quartermain, organiser of Friends of Redcar who have been part of the annual event for the past six years said,
“The Marine Conservation Society has been an inspiration to me over the course and I believe this to be their 25th year. Our efforts in Redcar are a small piece of the puzzle that go towards a big national picture with the data also shared globally with the International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC), reporting on worldwide litter levels.
“I would like to say thank you so much to the 130+ volunteers, our largest gathering yet, from Redcar, Marske, Saltburn, Eston, Guisborough, Stockton, Ingleby Barwick, Skinningrove, Kirklevington, Darlington, Newcastle, and across the North East who transcended onto Majuba beach to bring awareness to the scourge of litter, single use plastics and micro beads (nurdles).
“We saw employees from Barclays Bank, Darlington Building Society, Quorn and a number of schools including St. Benedict’s come too. Thank you also to Councillors Shelagh Holyoake, Barry Hunt and Carrie Marie for attending.
“It was really great to hear volunteers tell me how clean the beach was. How different it is from 6 years ago when we would clear a small section to clear the masses of rubble amongst the litter. I was really pleased with the number of parents bringing their children as part of their education and awareness.
“One thing that really impressed me was a couple of teenagers who had traveled first thing in the morning by train from Ingleby Barwick just to be with us. They had a deep understanding of the environmental and the global impacts that single use plastics are having on our planet. They told me they were studying the environment and marine life at college and wanted to show their support. Fantastic, the future is bright.”