Binnel Bay rubbish surveyed

23 January 2019

Despite the cold grey skies, Planet Aware was joined at Binnel Bay by 19 volunteers to help clean and carry out a beach survey of litter for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) on Saturday 19th January. Volunteers collected over 40 kilos of litter in the 100 metre survey area plus many more kilos from the area outside of this. The most unusual finds were a razor, a broom and paint brush handles. There were also a number of white Otrivine bottles which have recently been found in huge numbers all along the South Coast. The most common items found were polystyrene and plastic pieces, caps and lids from plastic bottles and fishing net/rope.

The Marine Conservation Society’s most recent report on litter on our beaches similarly revealed plastic and polystyrene pieces as well as fishing gear to be the most prolific type of litter. Less take away litter was found during Saturday’s survey at Binnel due to its remote location although inevitably items do get carried in the ocean currents so straws and wrappers were still evident. The 2018 MCS report also noted a decrease in litter collected – down 16% from 2017, but this may be because more people are out doing their own beach cleans which helps to reduce the amount found in survey areas.

It is important we make an effort to clean our beaches particularly as the Island relies so heavily on tourism, but collecting data on beach litter and marine pollution is vital. Data given to government and industry can help influence policy and decision making. The information MCS volunteers have collected over the last 25 years has helped make some of the most significant impacts on beach litter ever – the plastic bag charge, microplastics banned in personal care products, better wet wipe labelling, and massive support for a tax on ‘on the go’ plastic single use items. Planet Aware is encouraging people to take steps to reduce marine litter and their overall carbon consumption by adopting a ‘Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle’ approach. Saying no to items that are not needed, refilling containers including your own water bottle or coffee cup and mending broken items and clothing will help to reduce our resource use as well as our carbon footprint. While tackling plastic pollution is essential, climate change is still the biggest current threat to our oceans and planet.

Join us at Binnel Bay

We will be running a beach clean at Binnel Bay on the Isle of Wight and carrying out a survey for the Marine Conservation Society.

If you would like to join us please send us a message and we will send you the information that you need.

Date: 19 January 2019, meeting at Binnel Bay car park, St Lawrence at midday.

Our winter event

We had an absolute blast at Ventnor Exchange on Saturday – with people celebrating an alternative spirit of Christmas by coming together and enjoying an afternoon of music, spoken word, storytelling and craft-making.

A massive thank you to the Exchange and to all the artists who came along – including Coppersmith, VeeJay Clarke, But That’s Another Story, Ruth the Poet, Superb Owl, Pete (PJ) and John Goodwin.

A fabulous, relaxed and uplifting celebration despite the gloom outdoors, and a reminder that there are so many different ways to give at Christmas that don’t need you to spend lots of cash on unnecessary stuff.

Nappy rash?

I spent a pleasant afternoon last week with Nicola Broadsmith who runs the Isle of Wight Real Nappy Network. I also learned some pretty mind-boggling stuff about disposable nappies and probably a lot more about them than I had intended. In the last comprehensive council waste survey published ten years ago disposable nappies were the single biggest item in household waste accounting for around 16% of landfilled – weighing an estimated 923 tonnes per year. Just think about that for a moment.
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Food for thought

We are more than half way through July, and for me that means that Plastic Challenge is closer to the end than to the start. Trying to cut out single use plastics from our lives has proved impossible, although I am proud with some of the progress we have made. But I am also a little sad. Not just because plastic seems to be almost everywhere (we knew that) but because it risks overshadowing the real environmental problem, which inherently is bound up with the way we live. Continue reading

Material girl

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with recycling. Don’t get me wrong, I rinse off every can, bottle and recyclable plastic container that passes through our house, diligently separating them for collection every fortnight. But I get a bit strange when I read about wonder solutions that use recycled plastic – today it seems to be roads, years ago it was  local authority-procured park benches.   Continue reading