How To Get Involved
Adopt a Beach !
Individuals or groups can volunteer to adopt a particular section of beach to care for its well-being ~ cleaning it and monitoring the debris collected.
Our initiative is based on the fact that our whole beachfront of about 9 kilometres is divided into 94 separate beaches. Each beach has a number on the groyne which divides it from the others. In this way, volunteers can choose to care for the well-being of their own particular beach!
To date, of the 94 beaches, there are no more “orphans” ~ every one of our beaches is adopted!, which is amazing and we would like to thank all the individuals, families, schools and other organisations for taking up this challenge! Several beaches have more than one adopter, one has five!
Our volunteers are beginning to connect with each other through social media channels with WhatsApp and Facebook groups.
Recording sheets are completed and sent in to create a record of the state of our beaches over time; also photos and comments are being shared on our Facebook page.There is a real sense that volunteers are aware that they are part of a UNIQUE enterprise and enjoying the community spirit and forming new friendships.
This is so inspirational and is helping our town to drive onwards with our target of:
"Working towards a Carbon Neutral Town by 2030"
We also organise regular Clean Ups
Together we are a community who love our oceans. We’d like to see them better protected for the future for everyone by building a community through education, volunteering, beach cleans, and campaigns, to create the change we want to see.
On a regular basis, usually once a week, volunteers take a section of beach and clear up some debris. The result is then recorded either with a photo, or as a weight or as a tally of items, noting particularly "interesting" finds. These could be the largest, most surprising, most numerous, for example.
What happens on a Beach Clean ?
It’s refreshingly simple and surprisingly fun!
Say Hello - Just head down at the advertised time, say “hello” to the Clean Leader and you’ll be made to feel extremely welcome.
Kit Up - Once you’ve signed in, grab yourself a pair of gloves and a reusable sack.
Keeping Safe – Your Clean Leader will gather everyone as one big group and make sure everyone knows how to stay safe.
The Problem with Plastic Pollution – Your Clean Leader will speak to everyone for a little while about the threat that plastic pollution poses to our environment, what to look out for during the clean and most importantly – what we can do to tackle it!
The Main Event – The Clean will usually run for two hours, make sure you get back to base in plenty of time to separate your recyclables.
Weird & Wonderful – Keep an eye out for weird, wonderful and old items. It’s always super interesting to discuss how and why they may have got there!
High Fives & Home – The Clean Leader will let you know how much plastic pollution you have removed together and get some great photos of everyone. Hopefully you will have had fun and maybe even made some new friends. Remember to enjoy your time on the beach that weekend and beyond, you’ve earned it!
What else do I need to know ?
What should I bring?
Family, friends, children and even a dog or two. Just make sure you are dressed for the British seaside weather. We have a good amount of gloves, bin bags, buckets and hand wash; but if you’re able to bring your own gloves that means more people can get involved.
Are cleans suitable for children?
They’re designed to be a fun day out for all the family. Make sure the kids are suitably dressed, and if you can bring child-sized gloves for them that will really help. We appreciate that not all young children can sustain two hours of cleaning activity, and you’re welcome to stay for only as long as their boredom threshold allows. You might be surprised how much fun they have though!
Which beach do you want me to clean?
Every single beach is blighted by plastic pollution and deserves our protection; to start with maybe choose a beach that means something to you or alternatively you may be allocated a set beach.
What happens to all the rubbish that's collected?
The Clean Leader will dispose of it safely. We’ll make sure that as much of the plastic as possible will be recycled. In most cases, the local council will have been notified and they will have made arrangements to collect the rubbish you collect.
What happens after the Clean?
You’re part of the Beach Clean family now. We hope you’ll stay in touch with us for many years to come and play a big part in helping us to create Plastic Free Eastbourne. If we have your details, we’ll let you know what’s happening and how you can stay involved.
Contact us to get Involved
Benign Plastics Petition
Plastic comes from crude oil. This is a natural product made from the remnants of life forms from the ancient past. As such it is a natural raw material. Chemical companies are responsible for turning this resource into plastic in a multitude of forms. These are all made into compounds that have great difficulty for our environment: they willnot biodegrade. There are 20 major companies in the world which are concerned with this process - they are estimated to be responsible for 55% of the production of single-use plastics.
"In the next five years, global capacity to produce virgin polymers for single-use plastics could grow by over 30% - and by as much as 400% for individual companies. An environmental catastrophe beckons; much of the resulting single-use plastic waste will end up as pollutionin developing countries with poor waste management systems."
Defra wrote in 2021: "We will also transform the waste system to move us closer to a circular economy where products are built to last, be recycled or repaired. Through new extended producer responsibility schemes, we will also make sure industries pay higher fees if their products or packaging are harder to reuse or recycle."
I feel that the focus should not be on waste but on production. Our plastics producers mislead us all in the 70s when they persuadedgovernments not to make them responsible for their wate removal. Instead, they encouraged everyone to the idea thatwe, the consumers, are responsible for this waste. Campaigns setting up litter picking such as "Keep Britain Tidy" are laudable and were (still are!) sponsered by the plastics producers. The irony is that right from the start they knew full well that this is an impossible task. Yes: we can remove debris from the environment but we cannot remove it from the our world. There is an inescapable fact that the plastics that are being poured into out world are a disaster. When I read "currently not recyclable" there is a feeling that I have that this gets the producers out of the responsibility for finding a product that IS recyclable. Has there been any development here?
Oliver meets with Caroline Ansell During the recent 4-day Eastbourne Vintage Festival in Gildredge Park. Here we asked participants to sign the petition and more than 380 signatures were added. Caroline Ansell, our MP, visited our stall and I presented her with this petition. She is very supportive and we are going to try to create a strategy for presenting our project to Parliament.
Journey of Love
This song and video, Journey of Love, is introduced by Oliver Sterno, Plastic Free Eastbourne Community Leader and was inspired by the people of Ban Krut, Thailand and produced to help change attitudes to single-use plastic and the environment in Eastbourne.
Many thanks to all involved in the production : Words and music written and performed by David Stopp, filmed by Anna Winter and Tom Potter. Enormous help from Andrew Durling and the brilliant, ubiquitous Debris Man was Daniel Mason-Bond