SOCIETIES STRIVE TO PRESERVE OUR LOCAL BEACHES

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The environmental charity SAS (Surfers Against Sewage) hold regular beach cleans on beaches in Gower. Photo: Ellie Thompson

Local societies, charities and organisations are heading to Gower beaches to tackle the ever growing problem of beach litter in the area.

An increasing amount of people are thinking about the problem of beach litter in different and interesting ways and coming up with innovative ways to solve it.

The Plastic Tide is a revolutionary organisation that is using drone technology  to survey beaches during beach cleans and using certain machine algorithms to detect plastic build-up on various beaches.

The organisation prides itself on “fighting the rising tide of plastics around the world”. Dr. Erik Van Sebille, a world expert on marine litter and The Plastic Tide’s science advisor, states that the organisation will play an important role in the understanding of plastic items on coastlines throughout the UK. The drone technology they use, if continued, will help identify places where litter is most prevalent on coastlines and help tackle the problem of litter on beaches.

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Drones used as new technology to tackle coastlines which are most prone to beach litter build-up. Photo: Sky News

As well as new technology in place to tackle beach litter in the Gower area, societies such as Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and UK charity MCS (the Marine Conservation Society) are working more traditionally to engage in eliminating beach litter. “Litter comes from many sources – the public, fishing activities, sewage pipes and shipping,” MCS state, “but it is all preventable.”

As well as organising regular beach cleans in the Gower area, which include litter picks on Llangennith beach and Langland Bay, MCS encourage the public to  give up using single-use plastic bottles and raise money to fight against plastic litter. Using the hashtag #plasticchallenge on Twitter, the charity aim to raise awareness about how much plastic people use and how it affects marine life by using it, as well as encouraging people to stop using and buying it.

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Plastic bottles are seen in abundance around the Gower coastline, even on small rocky beaches like these. Photo: Ellie Thompson

Societies in Swansea University are also keen to tackle the issue of marine litter. Ben, a Biodiversity Officer at Swansea University, says, “we have all sorts of projects going on working alongside the conservation society and others.”

“Every Wednesday afternoon I have a volunteer group that I’ve established down at the Bay Campus with students from both campuses, looking after the Sites of Special Scientific Interest doing lots of things like beach litter picks. It’s amazing how much plastic rubbish there is out there that washes up along the strand line. Unless we actively collect it in and throw it away its going to be there forever.”

The Plastic Tide project. Filmed by Ellie Mackay

 

To keep up with The Plastic Tide, you can follow their blog HERE and their Twitter page HERE.

To keep up with the Marine Conservation society, you can follow their Twitter page HERE.

To keep up with Surfers against Sewage, you can follow their Facebook page HERE and their Twitter page HERE.

Feel free to like, share and/or write a comment on this article below about societies that you like or are involved in concerning beach litter.

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