News and blog

Beach cleaning and beyond

In Gunjur, a coastal town in the Gambia, and one of the most westerly points of Africa, a woman is fashioning a tile out of sand and plastic waste otherwise destined for the ocean. She is working alongside a number of local people in a specially constructed workshop where the plastic can be melted and re-manufactured in a safe way. This initiative is a pilot project that has been facilitated by the charity WasteAid, in partnership with local organisation the Women’s Initiative the Gambia and funded by UK Aid. Its success is paving the way for other projects to follow.

Continue reading “Beach cleaning and beyond”

Time for a 2 minute beach clean!

We are delighted to be working with Goodleaf Tree Climbing in Ryde who are raising money through their Vertical Marathon to add some 2 minute beach clean boards to Ryde Beach.

A 2 minute beach clean board makes it easier for everyone to help keep their coasts free of marine litter. The board has all the information, litter pickers and bags that you need to do your own mini clean-up when you’re one the beach.

A tree climbing experience with Goodleaf in Ryde’s Appley Park is a great way of getting outdoors and getting active in a beautiful park location with panoramic views over the Solent and beyond.

Find out more about Goodleaf Tree Climbing and their celebrated Vertical Marathon at!

Sing for water… or just pop in and Refill

We had a lovely afternoon talking about #Refill Isle of Wight at a beautifully dressed water fountain in Ventnor on Saturday 30 March. And we had a great song written by Glenn Koppany to promote Refill Isle of Wight!

#Refill is a simple idea – that everyone with a reusable water bottle should be able to easily fill up their water bottle while on the go. Our goal is for the #IOW to have well over 200 #Refill points by the end of the year whether they are cafes, restaurants, estate agents or at water fountains like this one – so that you are never far from a place where you can #Refill and won’t need to buy a plastic bottle of water.

Do check out our video of the day set to Glenn’s song at:

You can find out more about Refill Isle of Wight on our project pages or by getting in touch.

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.