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Big Beach Clean 2022 in Inishowen 16.08.22

THE Big Beach Clean initiative is back and Clean Coasts, supported by Cully and Sully, are calling people all across Inishowen to register to receive clean-up kits and join the world biggest clean-up.

In 2021, a record number of over 400 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed 42 tonnes of litter across the whole country. This represented a 5% decrease in litter found across Ireland, compared to the previous year campaign, which reflects the incredible work that Irish volunteers do all year round to tackle litter, as well as more conscious behaviours by beach users.
Big Beach Clean 2022. Left to right: Elaine Doyle, Clean Coasts Campaigns Officer, Colum O'Sullivan and Cullen Allen, founders of Cully & Sully.
Last year in county Donegal, over 500 volunteers organised clean-ups in 25 different locations, removing approximately 3 tonnes of litter over the weekend.

The Big Beach Clean is an annual call to action and this year it will run from 16th to 18th September, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy. This call-to-action invites communities and volunteers around the country to remove litter from around the Irish coast after the end of the bathing season.

This initiative is also an opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a worldwide citizen science project, which entails collecting the amount and types of litter on Irish beaches and filling in Clean Coasts’ Marine Litter Data Cards. This will help heighten awareness about the issue of marine litter serving as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem and help shape future policies and campaigns.
Big Beach Clean 2022. Left to right: Elaine Doyle, Clean Coasts Campaigns Officer, Cullen Allen, founder of Cully & Sully and Sinead McCoy, Coastal Programmes Manager at Clean Coasts.
The 2021 results have been shared with Ocean Conservancy and, in Ireland and regionally in Donegal, they have been used to shape Clean Coasts campaigns designed both for registered groups and the general public, tackling the top 10 offenders, such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles and food packaging.

This year, Clean Coasts are calling not only Clean Coasts groups and people who would traditionally be involved in environmental activities to join. Clean Coasts, with the support of Content Creators, are asking everybody in the community to get involved and find out more about the benefits of taking part in a beach clean and international citizen science project, which go beyond the environmental aspect of the initiative.

Our ocean supports livelihood and certain businesses, from hospitality to tourism, to fishing, and more depend on a clean and healthy ocean. People engaged in water sports, whether in a professional way or as a hobby, would join this call to action to protect their “playground”. Some artists might draw inspiration from the ocean, and, for this reason, they want to do something to protect it.

Coastal communities take pride in the beauty of the place they live in and want to keep it clean; moreover, a cleaner place to live means having better health and wellbeing. Finally, in the overall climate emergency, some people want to be an active part of the solution, and by taking part in this citizen science project, they will be able to play a key role in the establishment of future policies and campaigns.

Registration will again be open to all residents of Ireland, no matter how far from the coast they are based. Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities. Getting involved in the Big Beach Clean is a way for residents of non-coastal counties to help prevent litter entering our waterways and seas by holding a clean-up no matter where they are in the country and tackling the problem at source.

To register visit the Clean Coasts website at www.cleancoasts.org .
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