On Saturday the 18th of September the Cromwell team took to the sandy shores of Filey to carry out our annual Beach Clean – hosted by the Marine Conservation Society. For 4 years, we have organised a team of volunteers to head to the east coast, armed with litter pickers and bags to help carry out a coastal clean-up, although the event was cancelled last year due to COVID restrictions, luckily we were able to hit the beach this year as planned.
A recent study has shown that the amount of marine litter found on UK beaches has more than doubled in the last 15 years, this results in an estimated 6.4 million tonnes of litter entering the sea annually. Although littering is a purposeful act of poor waste management, sadly despite the many media outlets showcasing the hazards of littering, it is still a big issue. In an attempt to reduce the amount of litter that is spread across the environment, we carry out several annual litter picks, including the GB Beach Clean & Spring Clean.
Arriving at Filey in Yorkshire, we decided to clean up the same strip of beach as we did in 2019, to enable us to compare the results between the 2 litter picks. This year 195 items were collected, which is a big reduction from the last clean-up, in which we found 346 items in and around the same area. The results were very similar to previous years, with the items that were most collected still being, strings & rope, tissues, microplastics, cigarettes stubs & foam balls. This year we collected 151 fewer items since the last beach clean and 380 items less than the 2018 clean up.
2017: 600+ rubbish items collected
2018: 575 rubbish items collected
2019: 346 rubbish items collected
2021: 195 rubbish items collected
These results are encouraging to see that now for the 4th year in a row – litter has reduced dramatically in this area. Whilst litter is still a very big issue, which must always be taken seriously, it certainly seems that people are becoming more environmentally conscious and taking more pride in their waste management.
James Lee, managing director of Cromwell Polythene said: “We were pleased to see that the scale of littering has reduced compared to previous years’ analyses. It’s very encouraging that people are showing concern for the environment and the impacts that our actions have. We all want to see the recovery, reuse, and recycling of every type of packaging and it is vital that we work together to find solutions to protect our environment, combat climate change, keep products in use for as long as possible, and prevent leakage of valuable resources from the circular economy.”