Cornish charity calls on public to tackle local plastic pollution

  • Watch Grace Pascoe's report.


Cornish charity Surfers Against Sewage has marked the beginning of their 'Million Mile Beach Clean' with a 50 metre sand drawing of a seal surrounded by plastic.

The striking image aims to highlight the impacts of plastic pollution on marine wildlife, which the charity aims to tackle this year by inspiring 100,000 people to clean up their local beach, river, street or green space.

The Million Mile Beach Clean is part of a new environmental initiative, encouraging people to get out locally, on streets, country lanes, in parks and along local waterways to tackle plastic pollution and litter.

It's hoped the public's combined efforts will result in more than a million miles being cleared. Credit: Surfers Against Sewage

The campaign aims to reconnect people with their local environment to help their physical and mental wellbeing.

According to new research by Surfers Against Sewage, over half of Brits think COVID-19 has led to an increase in plastic pollution, with almost two-thirds seeing more waste in their area over the last 12 months.

74%

spot over 10 pieces of plastic or litter on an average walk

51%

say they see more plastic on UK beaches than wildlife

41%

believe that UK beaches are more polluted than their European counterparts

Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage, said: "The ocean is under threat and we are running out of time to save it.

"We want to inspire an army of ocean activists to join the cause and put an end to plastic pollution in the UK.

"After more than a year of isolation, social distancing and reduced physical activity, the Million Mile Beach Clean reconnects communities with the environment and provides numerous benefits to mental health and physical wellbeing."

Dr Sabine Pahl, social psychologist at the University of Plymouth, said: "Our oceans are an integral part of our planet and our lives. Research shows that the coast and oceans have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.

"Now more than ever it is crucial for people to reconnect with the outdoors and the Million Mile Beach Clean provides an opportunity for people to do something for their health whilst also creating a positive impact on the environment."


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