News and blog

Our ‘eco-hub’

With support from WightAid we were able to run our first festival eco-hub at  Great Wonderfest from 1 to 4 August, providing information to festival goers on reducing their environmental impacts. It was a chance for us to highlight our work on the Refill scheme, test out our reusable cup scheme and tell people about the dangers of discarded cigarette butts on the environment – and offer them an alternative! And that was just for starters!

If you would like to find out how we can help your event become more sustainable please do get in touch.


Our ten-hour beach clean for WasteAid

Planet Aware and local volunteers completed a 10-hour beach clean that saw a fifth of a tonne of waste removed from the Island’s beaches on Thursday 27th June.

The event was the idea of Planet Aware’s Sarah Marshall who wanted to undertake a beach cleaning challenge along a large section of the Island’s south coast.

Because some of the beaches on this part of the Island have very few access points it can be difficult to remove any rubbish that collects there. The clean-up therefore had to be organised around the tides and the rubbish collected had to be carried a considerable distance before it could be taken up from the beach and left near the road for collection.

Continue reading “Our ten-hour beach clean for WasteAid”

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.