The proliferation of plastic in our oceans is an ecological disaster. Communities in North Cornwall, exposed as they are to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, experience the brunt of the plastic pollution problem. Nobody sees the enormity of this problem with more immediacy than the lifeguards in Bude, who spend a combined total of more than one and a half thousand hours every week on the tideline.
After a record summer for plastic pollution on British beaches, the lifeguards in Bude have decided to take action. They have formed a community organisation named The Plastic Movement which aims to end the use of single-use plastics through direct action and creative solutions.
Although the long-term goal is to stop the proliferation of single-use plastics at its source, nothing helps to raise awareness better than for people to experience the impact of plastic pollution first-hand. This is why those at The Plastic Movement have organised ‘The Dawn ’til Dusk Beach Clean’. These will happen regularly throughout the year. Everyone will be encouraged to turn up, sign up and pick up to help rid the beaches of plastic pollution.
Jim Scown, one of the five founding members of The Plastic Movement, explained it: "It’s great to clean the beaches and vitally important to remove the plastic litter from the marine ecosystem. However, real, lasting progress is incredibly difficult if the majority of people remain unaware of the problem. This is why we hope a massive turnout for ‘The Dawn ’til Dusk Beach Clean’ will not only help clean up the beaches but will also raise awareness about the seriousness of the plastic pollution problem we are facing."
The volunteers at The Plastic Movement won’t be cleaning alone. Dedicated teams of volunteers already clean the beaches at Crackington Haven (The Cracky Crew), Widemouth (Widemouth Taskforce) and Crooklets (Beachcare), making the Bude area a hotbed of activity when it comes to fighting plastic pollution in our oceans. All have pledged their full support for the event.
Bude is also the home of Martin Dorey, the founder of The 2-Minute Beach Clean. His initiative, where members of the public spend two minutes of their day picking up litter on the beach, has spread far and wide. Two-minute beach cleaners can now be found all around the UK and beyond, even as far away as Israel. Such success stories show that when everyone works together, the capacity for change is immense.