Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or inside a discarded crisp packet) for the last few months, you’ll know just how important it is that we all do our bit to kick our single-use plastic habit to the curb.
Well, today marks #WorldOceansDay, which seems pretty apt in light of the recent sad news of a whale in Thailand which died as a result of our polluted seas, after it consumed more than 80 plastic bags.
As a meaningful bunch of seaside-dwelling travellers, this news really stings. But it has also made us feel more determined than ever to continue doing our bit to make tourism a force for good, and to protect our planet, and the glorious creatures that belong to it.
Fact time. Did you know, more than 12.2 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the world’s oceans each year? And it’s thought that only 1% of this is seen floating on ocean surfaces, while 94% of this waste ends up on the sea floor? Did you also know that the highest concentration of plastic waste is found on beaches, threatening 31 species of marine mammals and 100 species of birds? Yep. Pretty scary, eh?
We have a Meaningful Motto here at Rickshaw:
Just because you can’t change EVERYTHING, doesn’t mean you should do NOTHING.
Well, as we do like to live beside the seaside, we teamed up with our friend Max, from Brighton & Hove Cityclean, and armed ourselves with gloves, bin bags, and litter-picking-sticks, read to give Brighton beach a jolly good clean. We were shocked to learn that on a sunny bank holiday, beach cleaners at Brighton Beach can expect to pick up 40 tonnes of rubbish in as little as two days, and up to 400 kilos on a normal day. Wow.
And, like a really rubbish version of The Generation Game, we collected a whole host of grubby prizes on our litter-picking mission: plastic bottles, sweet wrappers, dirty nappies, used needles, and even a pair of undies. The list goes on.
In just a couple of hours, we’d collected two huge refuge sacks of litter (which would have otherwise ended up in the sea), AND we had a lovely morning walk along Brighton beach (which, let’s face it, is just plain good for the soul)!
Want to find out more about how you can do your bit to protect our oceans from harmful plastics? Head to the Marine Conservation Society and see how you can get involved!