LIMERICK volunteers broke the record for the Big Beach Clean 2022, with almost 100 volunteers from the city and county joining Clean Coasts latest call to action at the weekend, removing approximately 554 kg of litter as part of the world’s largest clean-up initiative.
In Limerick, 10 groups banded together to host cleanups, including Adare Tidy Towns Association, Limerick City Tidy Towns and Feenagh Tidy Towns as well as other households, groups and individuals.
These groups pledged to tackle litter in several locations, including Adare Village, Feenagh Village, Kilmallock, Riverwalk and Rhebogue to name a few.
The Big Beach Clean is an annual initiative that runs as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy and invites communities and volunteers around the country to remove litter from around the Irish coast after the end of the bathing season.
This year, a record number of over 500 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed over 63 tonnes of litter nationwide.
Once more, volunteers were asked to join the call to action, no matter how far from the coast. Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities and getting involved in the Big Beach Clean has been a way for residents of non-coastal counties to help prevent litter entering our waterways tackle the problem at its source.
Each year this initiative is also an opportunity for Big Beach Clean Limerick 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 to share with Ocean Conservancy, 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.
So far, data collected from the International Coastal Cleanup have informed policy in a number of areas, leading to laws 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.
Finally, Cully and Sully supported the initiative again this year. Cullen Allen (Cully) said, “We were delighted with yet another amazing Big Beach Clean weekend. The Clean Coasts staff and volunteers were fantastic across the weekend, although we know many are out every weekend of the year.. not just Big Beach Clean weekend.. so Thank You all. This is one of our favourite initiatives across the year and it was so heartwarming to see the great turn out yet again for 2022.”
Clean Coasts and Cully and Sully have also teamed up to create some resources to help people educate themselves on which household items are recyclable, which ones aren’t and how to correctly dispose of rubbish in your home as well as rubbish found on the beach. If you’re curious about recycling basics, common beach finds and how to dispose of them, what happens to our waste, stats on recycling in Ireland and more, head to recycling webpage at: https://cleancoasts.org/how-