The first week in July sees the return of the annual Clean Beaches Week, 7 days of celebrating our sandy shores. Initially an American tradition, the awareness day has spread across the globe, with thousands more people now helping to highlight the importance of clean beaches.
Now in its 19th year, Clean Beaches Week was first introduced in 2003, to coincide with American Independence Day and help to keep the US beaches litter free before the 4th of July celebrations begin. Whilst still very heavily celebrated in the USA, other countries have now also adopted the cause and Clean Beaches Week is now bigger than ever, growing year on year.
The aim of Clean Beaches Week
The aim of Clean Beaches Week has remained the same throughout its entirety – to raise the awareness of the importance of clean beaches and proactively support litter-free coastlines across the world. Established with simple strategies in place for the public, which are easy to follow but with minimal effort. These include respecting both the ocean and sands, by taking waste home and ensuring you are not damaging any coastal habitats or structures which have been put in place to support the coastal activities.
The awareness week highlights the natural wonders of our oceans and beaches and tries to indicate to the public the dangers that will occur if we mistreat and disrespect them.
What is the problem & why is it important?
Beach litter is a growing issue, especially during the summer months and holiday season. With more people heading to the beaches around the globe, we see an influx of wrongfully discarded waste. The majority of waste which is littered is done so purposefully, but whether it was littered with intent or not, it is all unsightly, unpleasant, and very hazardous. It is dangerous to the wildlife on beaches, including sea birds and beach creatures who view the litter as food and wrongfully consume them, this almost always leads to their death. This also happens as they enter the oceans to the sea life and fish, who unfortunately see the same fate – it has its own negative effects on the seafood which we consume, which could cause harm to us too.
Although you may not have disposed of the waste in the oceans, changing tide times will see the litter that was left on sandy shore soon enter the oceans and being taken out to sea to harm the ocean environment.
The dangers that unclean beaches may have on the environment is why it is so important to support causes such as this. Clean Beaches Week and other associated awareness activities are highlighting the issues which are associated with beach litter, and the dangers it causes – which gives hope this will deter people from causing the problems and prompt better waste management.
How can you get involved?
Getting involved with Clean Beaches Week can be as minimal as taking your waste home when you leave the beach, or finding an adequate bin. Encouraging others to manage their waste better is also a great step towards meeting the set goals.
Go the extra mile and help clean up other people’s waste by carrying out beach cleans and litter picks. The Summer months always see an influx of waste, in particular in outdoor spaces such as beaches as more people are out enjoying the warmer weather. This is the perfect opportunity to carry out a beach litter pick – helping to collect all wrongfully discarded materials before it has a chance to cause damage to wildlife or enter our oceans.
Finally, local authorities could promote cleaner beaches and better waste management in the form of education – this could be achieved with the implementation of anti-litter posters and social media posts. Cromwell has devised some anti-litter marketing material that is free to download and use around your hot spot litter areas. Whilst of course there is no guarantee this will reduce litter impacts, it will certainly highlight the message of a cleaner environment and hopefully, encourage the achievement of this.
Download Beach Litter Poster A4 – Digital
Download Beach Litter Poster A4 – Print ready
Download Beach Litter Poster A5 – Digital
Download Beach Litter Poster A5 – Print ready
Clean Beaches Week 2022 is running from the 1st of July until the 7th – but the messages it encourages and the goals it aims to achieve should be followed annually to help keep our planet a beautiful, clean and safe place to live, for this and future generations.