Here in Ireland, we’ve got some stunning blue flag beaches to boast about – a whopping 83 to be exact! How lucky are we to have such an abundance of glistening coastline right on our doorstep? Of course, we’ll want to keep these awards and status alive.
A growing concern for beaches across the globe is contamination, caused by litter. Plastic bottles, empty cans, and food wrappers are just a few among countless items that clutter our beaches and oceans. This type of contamination has a detrimental impact on both the environment and marine animals. So, what can we do to help?
Beach cleaning is proven beneficial in tackling this environmental issue.
Keep reading to see why we should be the change and get involved in beach cleaning.
1. It reduces the impact of plastic pollution on marine animals
Plastic is very harmful to the ocean and can take up to 450 years to degrade. It can also absorb chemical pollutants, transporting them to tremendous distances. When digested by animals, the chemical pollutants can cause toxic effects. Not only that, but it takes up space in the digestive system and prevents the animal from consuming enough food to survive.
One million marine animals are killed by plastic pollution every year. By 2050, there’ll be more plastic in our oceans than fish! That’s why we must do all we can to dispose of our waste responsibly and prevent this problem from worsening. The next best place to start is by getting involved in a local beach clean, to help keep plastic out of our oceans!
2. It raises awareness
Though beach cleaning may seem futile given the vast amounts of litter that pollutes our oceans, little changes can make a difference! Remember when Ireland started charging a 15 cent tax on plastic bags back in 2002? This encouraged shoppers to bring their own reusable bags so there’d be less plastic litter in our seas. After this, plastic bag use was reduced by 90%. Plus, litter-free areas went up by 50%. See, it really does work!
The ocean is essential for all life on earth, producing about half of the oxygen on earth. If more people were to get involved in beach cleaning, think of the knock-on effect this could have on the environment and our recycling initiative! Reducing, reusing, and recycling will help to stop the ocean from becoming further polluted.
3. It allows us to collect data
Not only does beach cleaning help to improve the ecosystem, but it also helps provide scientific and environmental data.
Have you heard of the ban on single-use plastics? Effective from July 2021, the EU has put an immediate ban on the production of plastic straws, plates, cutlery, stirrers, cotton bud sticks, and polystyrene food and drink containers. It was found that these items make up 70% of marine litter in Europe. This data was collected with the help of beach clean initiatives.
4. It allows you to give back
Getting involved in a local beach clean, or simply doing a bit yourself on your next trip to the beach will allow you to give back. Doing something good for your community, and knowing you are making a difference can give us the feel-good factor. Volunteering brings you closer to your community, helps you to interact with new people, and makes a difference! Why not do something meaningful with your free time and get down to your local beach?
Gormanston Beach Clean
One example of a beach cleaning initiative that’s been hugely impactful is Gormanston, Co. Meath. The community wanted to endorse efforts to protect and enhance the local environment. Since 2015, the Gormanston beach and road clean initiative has been successful in doing just that.
Panda was proud to support this initiative, providing waste collection free of charge during the clean-ups. As Panda was first established in Slane, Co Meath, this initiative is close to our hearts. We are delighted to be able to give back to the community we started out in.
Why are skip bags ideal for clean-ups such as this?
- They come folded in a convenient carry bag and are easy to take along with you.
- They’re lightweight, meaning they can be moved around and filled as you go.
- When almost full, simply place them in the area you’d like to have them collected from (then continue to fill it).
Got an idea for a big clean-up project and want our help? Panda will be happy to assist! Give our team a call on 01 829 8992.
Skip bags are also great for general and garden waste. With every bag we collect, we leave a replacement for next time! Order your skip bag hassle-free, on our website.