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Island Wide Beach Clean

11 September 2014

Can you spare an hour to take part in an Island-wide campaign to clean up Jersey’s beaches?

The States Eco-Active programme is encouraging people in Jersey to join the Island Wide Beach Clean on Sunday 21 September as part of a national campaign.

Individuals and workplaces can get involved. Businesses are encouraged to ‘adopt’ an area of coastline to clean for one hour between 12 and 2 pm on Sunday 21 September. In that time, volunteers will gather as much rubbish and litter as possible.

Clean your favourite beach

Individuals who want to get involved can either clean their favourite beach independently, or join forces with the Jersey branch of the Marine Conservation Society at Le Braye Slip at 1 pm. Alternatively people can join members of Littlefeet Environmental at various locations across the Island, including St Brelade’s Bay, from midday.

Harm to marine wildlife

The Island Wide Beach Clean is a partnership between Eco-Active, the Marine Conservation Society and local charity Littlefeet Environmental. Eco-Active Programme Manager, Jane Burns said ”Scratch the surface of our gorgeous beaches and you can find broken glass, barbecue debris, cigarette butts and plastic bottles – there’s a lot of junk out there. It’s unsightly, but it can also cause serious harm to marine wildlife, so this is a real opportunity to give Jersey beaches one big Island Wide Beach Clean.

“It’s just one hour of your time we’re asking for, and you’ll walk away knowing you’ve made it a nicer and safer place for yourself, your family, for tourists, and you could save the lives of some of our best-loved marine wildlife.”

Businesses that sign up will be given refuse bags, latex gloves and a set of scales to record what they collect.  If required, organisers can provide a volunteer to help oversee the company’s involvement, from risk assessment all the way through to disposing of the rubbish at the end. To find out more or sign up, email Jane Burns at

Marine life and litter

Seven billion tonnes of debris enters the world's oceans each year, most of it long-lasting plastic and an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic litter every year around the world.

According to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), marine litter affects more than 260 of the UK’s marine species — either because they accidentally eat floating rubbish, or they get trapped and injured by it.

A sperm whale was recently found with more than 200kg of litter in its stomach, including fishing nets, plastic bags and even a plastic comb.

Items such as fishing line, netting, rope, and bait box packaging trap and strangle animals. Large marine animals such as seals and dolphins can starve to death when muzzled by plastic litter.

Plastic bags on the ocean floor take 10-20 years to decompose. Plastic bottles take much longer. Because of this, one piece can kill more than one animal. An animal killed by swallowing plastic will decompose long before the plastic does, leaving the plastic free to kill again.

In marine environments, many animals confuse the plastic litter in the oceans for food, including sea turtles and many creatures are found with plastic in their stomachs.


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