Braving the wind, the rain, and temperatures of below 5°, a band of dedicated beach clean heroes turned out on a cold February afternoon last Tuesday and felt the love for Brighton beach.
While the adverse weather conditions certainly challenged the endurance of our beach cleaners, it didn’t put a dampener on anyone’s spirits - or their artistic skills! Fuelled by tea and vegan biscuits, our Pier 2 Pier volunteers gathered in the Pop-Up Brighton gallery next to Brighton beach and took part in some Valentine’s Day-themed litter artwork.
Using the 10+ bags of beach litter collected on the day, local marine litter artist Irene Soler and her assorted helpers created a giant litter heart, showcasing the most common items washed up (or dropped) on the beach. The installation included bottle caps, beer cans, plastic cutlery, coffee cups, sweet wrappers, wine corks, ropes, straws, lighters - the list goes on!
Later on, local natural music artists ‘Unite The Beat’ turned up to lead the volunteers in a ‘trash jam’, using pieces of rubbish from the beach to create a funky tune. Founded by Malik Tokwe and Emily Robertson, this musical duo focus on using the medium of sound to promote fun, mindfulness and a sense of community. They encourage people to get creative as they forage for unique ways of making noise.
Our event aimed to showcase the scale of the marine litter problem, not just on Brighton beach but across the UK and indeed, across the globe. In December, nearly 200 countries around the world pledged to tackle what experts are calling a ‘global crisis’ of plastic in the oceans. Eight million tonnes of plastic are being dumped into the seas every year, causing catastrophic harm to marine life - as we saw in last year’s Blue Planet II.
Combatting plastic pollution starts right at home - so we sought to show our beach some love this Valentine’s Day through the medium of art and music. ‘#LoveYourBeach’ Day was launched by intrepid beach cleaners in Cornwall, and here at Pier 2 Pier we’re proud to have brought it to Brighton too.