The amount of plastic litter streamed across our scenic coastlines and invading the sea is increasing at an alarming rate. With recent reports predicting that there will be more plastic than fish in our sea by 2050, the attempt to prevent this has never been so vital.
While many different approaches to tackling this ever-increasing issue are being explored, how are we working to keep the beaches of Seaham and Sunderland plastic-free?
Two collection crates for plastic recycling are currently located in Seaburn and Roker, in an attempt to keep these coastlines plastic-free; a scheme implemented by Sunderland City Council.
A spokesperson for Sunderland City Council said, “you only have to walk along the seafront to see the impact that’s [plastic] having on our beaches.”
“If we all join in we can really make a difference in helping keep out beaches clean.”
The plastic recycling scheme has received immense support from recycling organisation, TerraCycle, as well as businesses in the area and volunteering members of the public.
A volunteer at Seaham beach who, alongside others, feels it is their duty to protect and clear the coastline of their hometown said, “we are extremely passionate about our town. Seaham has a magnificent coast, fantastic beaches and it is our job to care for our area.”
Recent studies have found at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles are currently floating at sea and ultimately ending up on our beaches.
“It’s really important that we do everything we can to keep our beaches plastic free,” said a spokesperson for Sunderland City Council. “That’s why we’re encouraging people to pick up any plastic they find on the beach and recycle it.”
Those who are volunteering their time to try and make our beaches plastic free wish people would be mindful when littering and understand the knock-on effect their carelessness is having, up and down the country.
“The sea carries the litter and plastics,” explained one volunteer, “so if we can keep our beaches clean and plastic free, and so can others, then we may stand a chance at rectifying this issue.”
Sunderland City Council have planned to provide five additional collection crates in an attempt to extend their plastic recycling scheme.