Surfers Against Sewage Million Mile Clean – Young Curator Blog
Our Surfers Against Sewage Million Mile Clean was a great success last week! PK Porthcurno staff, residents, some early risers, and a further 30 volunteers as well as our friends from the RNLI Penwith Lifeguards helped to remove a rather alarming amount of bank holiday rubbish.
Surfers Against Sewage
The SAS Million Mile Beach Clean aims to reconnect communities with the environment as well as create a clean environment for everyone to enjoy, and this was certainly the case in Porthcurno! Everyone seemed to enjoy getting stuck in and were keen to help with protecting our local environment. Learn more about Surfers Against Sewage here
How Clean was Porthcurno?
Most of the rubbish we cleaned up looked like remnants of beach parties-with disposable barbeques and beer bottles being the worst offenders. Bottles were found crammed and hidden in the cliffside, a few of them were smashed leaving dangerous bits of broken glass in the sand! Some disposable barbeques were partially buried in the sand which is very are dangerous if left on the beach. Not only are they often hot which can cause burns if stood on by other beachgoers, but they are also incredibly sharp and can be fatal to marine life when washed into the sea. If you take a disposable barbeque to the beach, make sure it has cooled down and is disposed of correctly or taken home with you!
Plastic food packaging, from wrappers to drinks bottles made up a large proportion of the litter we found. Unfortunately, these items can easily get buried in the sand and then swept into the ocean, ending up in the marine food chain. Even if they do not make it into the marine environment straight away, a single plastic bottle still takes hundreds of years to break down, turning into microplastics, which due to their size are nearly impossible to see and leak silently into the food chain, causing even more harm to the planet. Bits of plastic rope from fishing are also common to see and important to clear up, lengths of plastic can entangle animals, at best causing injury and even death.
How the Million Mile Clean Can Make a Difference
Although it may seem harmless to drop 1 piece of litter, thinking it will not make a difference in the grand scheme of things, these pieces of litter accumulate and spread over large distances, blown into hedgerows and the ocean then harming animals that are looking for food. Small species will often get trapped inside rubbish, like a snail we found that had gone inside a beer bottle and grown too big to get out no matter how small, all wild animals have an important role to play in our ecosystem, and it’s vital that we protect them by clearing up after ourselves!
A Big Thank You For Taking Part In The SAS Million Mile Clean!
Thanks to all the volunteers that helped us, we managed to collect nearly 8 bags of litter from the beach, footpath, and car park. It was great to be part of this brilliant initiative by Surfers Against Sewage and to connect with visitors to Porthcurno who wanted to help protect what they came to enjoy. We have recycled as much of the litter collected as possible and we hope to do more beach cleans over the summer!
Maeve Cushla, Young Curator, PK Porthcurno
Header Photo: Maeve Cushla
Learn more about the award-winning environmental programme of PK Porthcurno, Planet PK here