Here at Pier 2 Pier, we like to think big.
And that’s because the challenge before us is big.
Last year, the UN declared plastic pollution in the oceans to be a ‘planetary emergency’. Its effects are being felt across the whole marine ecosystem, in every corner of the globe, with potentially disastrous consequences, not just for marine organisms but for us humans too.
Now one person cleaning a beach won’t seem like it’s making much of a difference - and of course, it’s a drop in the ocean (literally) when you consider the scale of the problem. But lots of people, cleaning lots of beaches, not just once but repeatedly, throughout the year - now that will start to make a difference.
Our ambition this year is to inspire thousands of people, not just in Brighton but across the UK, to show some love for our beaches and oceans and do their bit by taking part in a beach clean. That’s why for 2018, Pier 2 Pier are aiming high and setting a target of 2000 people attending our beach cleans throughout the year. We’re already on 280, but with us halfway through March, we’ve still got a long way to go!
To achieve our goal, we’ll off course be carrying on with our big monthly beach cleans, such as our Superhero Silent Disco Beach Clean that took place at the start of March. This event alone attracted over 200 volunteers and collected nearly 250 kg of litter! We made a huge contribution to the nationwide Great British Spring Clean and showed that inclement weather is no match for our volunteers!
We've got plenty of big beach clean events (including silent discos!) lined up for this year, with our next major one on April 22nd, to coincide with Mother Earth Day. This worldwide event is being spearheaded by the UN, and this year's theme is, quite rightly, plastic. There’ll be plenty of events taking place over the summer, and we have big plans around Pride weekend in August!
Another exciting new development that should help us reach our 2000 target is our new corporate team-building beach clean events. These will allow ethically-minded businesses to show their responsibility for the environment and give their staff a fun and rewarding day out of the office, by cleaning up a local beach and dancing to our trademark silent disco. We’re premiering our first business beach clean at the end of this month, and we can’t wait!
However, you don't have to be at one of our organised events to do a beach clean. Anyone can pop down to their local beach at any time and take 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour (however long they want!), picking up whatever litter they can find and ensuring it gets recycled or disposed of properly. If you fancy doing your own mini beach clean, don't forget to share a photo of your findings on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #2000BeachCleans. Then we can add you to our tally!
To encourage more DIY beach cleans like this, we’re also starting a lending scheme for local community groups, schools, kids’ clubs etc, so they can borrow our equipment and do their own beach cleans whenever they like. Contact us by email or on social media if you want to arrange this!
Pier 2 Pier started in 2017 from a small team of dedicated volunteers and were overwhelmed by the amazing response from Brighton residents. We've been growing our efforts ever since, and it’s clear to us that there are loads of people out there, ready to take up our call to action and fight litter and pollution by cleaning up their beach.
It's not just about what we clean up off the beach on the day - it’s also about making people aware of where their rubbish ends up. How all those bottles and plastic straws and food wrappers and whatever else that we use and then throw away don’t just disappear but stay in the environment, entering our waterways and seas, and occasionally washing up and spoiling our lovely beaches.
Once people become aware of this, they can start to see why it is so essential that they take responsibility for the waste they produce. And this is the first step towards making the changes in behaviour that our planet so desperately needs.
We’ve got a big year ahead of us. We hope you’ll stand up and be counted, and get us to our target of #2000BeachCleans!