Saturday 18th September was World Clean-up Day with over 180 Countries and 50 million volunteers joining forces across the globe to conduct litter picks and beach cleans. Our oceans produce 70% of our oxygen, but each year 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in them polluting our waters.
World Clean Up Day was embraced by Fife Street Champions and Happy Beaches Fife who work in partnership with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust to conduct weekly litter picks and beach cleans throughout Fife.
This work has been made possible by funding provided NatureScot’s Better Places Green Recovery fund, which has enabled additional beach cleans and litter picks to be delivered across Fife.
For World Clean-up Day the two organisations worked with the other groups to achieve the best possible results, with 11 events organised at locations across Fife including Inverkeithing, Holl Reservoir, Burntisland, the Lomond Centre and Seafield Beach. A total of 234 bags of rubbish were collected at events across Fife.
David Spence of Fife Street Champions commented, ‘It is extremely rewarding to get involved in environmental work such as this but going forward we must work together so that events like these are not necessary.”
The statistics surrounding plastic waste are truly staggering and difficult to comprehend. Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans, with 12 million tonnes of plastic are poured into the ocean every year. There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.
Annually 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution. This was recently evidenced by a dead cormorant found on Lower Largo Beach, which had become entangled in the plastic loops used to hold drinks cans together.
Volunteers at Holl Reservoir and the Lomond Centre.