Festival hosts Boardmasters have undertaken a new challenge this spring, organising two beach cleans in an attempt to tackle the waste pollution on Cornwall’s coastlines.
The event, named The Big Spring Beach Clean, will be held at Fistral Beach on Saturday 14th April, with the second clean located at Watergate Bay on Sunday 15th April.
The project is in collaboration with marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), who have worked to protect our oceans, waves and beach life since early 1990.
Hugo Tagholm, CEO of SAS, said: “Surfers Against Sewage is thrilled to be the long-standing charity partner of the Boardmasters Festival and engage festival-goers with our environmental campaigns to protect waves, oceans and beaches for everyone.”
“We saw some amazing results this year, with record levels of engagement with our Plastic Free Coastlines campaign.”
The importance of a clean beach environment has swept over Cornwall, with communities all over the county becoming involved in numerous campaigns.
Speaking to Truthfal, volunteer Lucy Daniel said “I’m a passionate South West Coast walker, so that’s how I first got interested. I’m now the Fowey community leader for the Plastic Free Community campaign by Surfers Against Sewage, so I’ll be organising beach cleans here as part of that.”
Rohan Chohdri, an animal rights activist who recorded 110 beach cleans in 2017, is keen for more people to get involved. He added “You’ll love the fresh air and the exercise, but more importantly the planet needs you. Every single item that you pick up is one less item of litter destroying the environment, so if you notice some litter kicking about then take responsibility of it and dispose of it.”
“We as consumers can combat plastic waste. It’s possible to drastically reduce the amount of packaging that we consume, and when enough people do this and the money shifts from over-packaged products to minimally/ non packaged products. Every pound that you spend is a vote for what you believe in.”
Tackling plastic waste on local beaches has become a prominent issue in the South West over the last six months, with three areas in Cornwall awarded the coveted Plastic Free Coastline Status by Surfers Against Sewage.
In December 2017 Penzance became the first town in the UK to be granted the award, after dozens of residents and business people backed a grassroots campaign to clean up their local beaches and oceans. Perranporth became the second place in Cornwall and fifth in the UK to achieve the status in early February of this year, with Falmouth and Penryn securing the award in March as the third Cornish area to do so.
In the UK there have been several pledges and campaigns to ban single use plastics, with businesses across the country banning plastic straws in an attempt to reduce non recyclable waste. Further, to this the government is contemplating a deposit return system for plastic bottles, with supermarkets Co-op and Iceland backing the proposal.
The fight against plastics has drastically developed over the last few years, and remains a fascinating and intriguing innovative campaign.