Falmouth University have been promoting a plastic free movement this week in partnership with the FXU Beach Clean Project, Big Blue Ocean Cleanup as well as local business Smartie Lids On The Beach.
One of the events run by the Beach Clean Project and Smartie Lids was a three-hour workshop on how to turn plastic into art. Students were asked to bring in any plastic they find on the beach and use it in an alternative way.
Michelle Costello, owner of Smartie Lids On The Beach, said: “About four or five years ago I started to clean beaches and I was finding Lego and Smartie Lids and it started out as a bit of a treasure hunt and then I found all this plastic on the beach and it turned into a bit of an obsession.
“When people see plastic on the beaches which is quite often where it is ending up, it just makes you realise how much plastic you are using in your life, the idea is to raise awareness of reducing your use of single use plastic and do as much as you can towards that.”
In 2006, a UNEP study estimated 1 million seabirds die from mistaking plastic for food every year along with 100,000 sea mammals. The Beach Clean Project is a fully volunteer run project and has decided to take matters into their own hands.
Rhiannon Ackhurst, co-president of the Beach Clean Project, said: “I think workshops like this run by Michelle, who is very famous on Instagram and everyone knows her name is really important.
“It is really important to get people looking at bits of plastic, when they see a bottle lid to look at it and think about what they are drinking out of and getting them to make that link between that and if they are contributing to this problem.”
The week will be rounded off with a beach clean-up on Saturday, starting by a walk through Falmouth towards Castle Beach, Gylly and finishing at Swanpool.
The popularity of plastic free week was highlighted as tickets for the Seal Sanctuary Trip sold out in a matter of days and over 500 people registered as interested in the plastic free market on Facebook.
The Beach Clean Project is planning on more events like the workshop due to the interest the plastic free week has received.