Have you been to your local beach lately?
By JCI Southampton Community Director, Mike Rothon
If you have you might have enjoyed the relaxing sound of the gentle waves lapping at the shore, the sweet aroma of salt dancing on your nostrils and the refreshing breeze blowing in your hair.
This is why we venture from our cities, towns and villages to escape into nature to find peace in the tranquil beauty of nature.
The waves are natural but the beach is not
This is a photo I took at Southsea beach, Portsmouth. As you can see it has all the hallmarks of a beautiful beach, well apart from the pebbles.
There is only one problem that when you look closer you can see it isn’t so picturesque. I sat down on Southsea beach and within my wingspan, I found a handful of rubbish just discarded. It was even worse when you looked at the high tide line. It was littered white, blue, yellow plastic bags buried in the pebbles.
Beach replenishment courtesy of the human population
Which is made even sadder by the fact I know Southsea beach is regularly cleaned and that everyone was walking past it as if it is normal. Even at my local beach in Weston shore, I have picked up shoes, clothes and countless crisp packets.
In fact, it commonly recognised that the most common plastic litter on beaches are cigarette butts, these filters made of plastic and easily edible by fish.
I don’t think this is normal which is why I clean the beach, but this will never be enough if we don’t stop littering our outdoor spaces.
If your not convinced that there is a problem digest the results of a study, “In 1960 plastics were found in less than 5% of seabirds. In 2010 this had risen to 80%”.
The bird finds the plastic hard to digest too
Reduce Single Use Week
This is why we are launching our campaign to “Reduce Single Use”. It is all about reducing single-use plastic waste going to landfill, polluting our oceans and natural habitats.
We also want to use this time to think about our consumer choices, can we shop more ethically and local? What sustainable changes can we make to be a healthier, happier version of ourselves whilst benefitting our environment and encouraging the local circular economy?
So we are calling on you the members of JCI Southampton, JCI UK and JCI members all over the world to join us in “Reduce Single Use” week from Monday, August 12th to Friday 16th.
We will be holding a beach clean at one of our local beaches to showcase the problem on Sunday the 11th of August to engage our members so they can see the problem for themselves.
As well as taking part in our campaign, I would encourage you all to get involved and organise a local beach clean, litter pick or city clean up.
 Beach Conservation Study. Sam Bassett, Cardiff University July 17,2016.
 Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing, Chris Wilcox, Erik Van Sebille, and Britta Denise Hardesty. PNAS September 22, 2015.
Categorised in: Community
This post was written by Zoe Toseland