Volunteers across Waterford took part in the Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean over the weekend, removing 1.8 tonnes of marine litter.
Clean Ups took place in many areas including Tramore, Dungarvan, Dunmore East, and An Rinn.
15 groups came together to help tidy up our beaches. Among those were Lios An Oir Residents Association, Ring Peninsula Community Group, Dungarvan Sea Swimmers, and Second Port Cubs.
Nationally, a record number of 500 clean ups were carried out resulting in 63 tonnes of rubbish being removed.
Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities. Getting involved in the Big Beach Clean has been a way for residents of non-coastal areas to help prevent litter entering our waterways and to tackle the problem at its source.
Each year this initiative is an opportunity for Waterford 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.
The data is then shared with Ocean Conservancy to 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.
A number of laws have been put in place thanks to the data collected from coastal clean ups, including banning the use of plastic grocery bags, prohibiting smoking-related litter, encouraging the use of reusable bags, prohibiting mass balloon releases, and prohibiting foam food and beverage takeaway containers.
To find out more about Clean Coasts and keeping our oceans free of litter, click here.
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