We hit Weston-Super-Mare with an impressive 51 volunteers from our charity partner ProCook. A huge group event, members from different teams worked together, along with the new CEO Lee Tappenden, to make the beach cleaner for all.
Heavy rain and winds in the days before the clean meant we were all watching the skies carefully to see what kind of day we would be having out on the beach. Luckily, the sun shone throughout the clean, leaving us free to focus on finding litter, rather than the rain.
As we arrived the beach was being raked by large tractors, collecting up excessive seaweed and debris. This helped us hugely in our job of cleaning up the beach, as large amounts of litter could be collected along with the seaweed.
Splitting into groups, we went in different directions in search of litter. Much of what we found was very small and lightweight. Items such as cigarette butts, nurdles, microplastic pieces, and wrappers, were among the most common items found.
Some of the more unusual things we found included:
- An incredible amount of cigarette butts, far more than we would normally see on a beach clean.
- Long strips of metal
- A lightbulb
- A wooden pallet
- Lots and lots of microplastic pieces and nurdles.
Across the sand there was an incredible amount of microplastics and nurdles. These very small pieces of plastic are incredibly difficult to collect up, due to their small size. We did our best to scrape up as much as we could, but it was very difficult to remove these miniture pieces of pollution.
This small bag handle took several volunteers to pull it from the sand. It was a great group effort to finally get this fraying piece of plastic material free.
After two hours of litter picking, we gathered all our bags together for weigh-in. 31 bags were collected and the total weigh was a huge 98.81 kilos! Last year we collected around 80 kilos, so it was great to beat our own record.
With our bags collected and weighed, we all sat together and had fish and chips for lunch in the sunshine. The perfect way to round off a successful morning.
ProCook staff have volunteered their time all year with us; helping out of numerous cleans across the country. This beach clean took their total amount of litter collected for 2023 to 232.61 kilos! An amazing achievement. We would like to say a huge thank you to ProCook and it’s staff for their continuing dedication to the environment.