On Saturday we decided to head to St Germans for a pub lunch with friends, I had not checked Facebook beforehand, if I had I would have seen what was happening on Whitsand bay that day. I am still kicking myself that we swapped our usual walk to the beach with a lunch inland. This is what happened while we were gone and I have taken photos from the Tregantle Beach, Treasures, Trinkets and Trash Facebook page and I am sharing what Rame Peninsula Beach Care had to say…..it’s a call to arms basically.
I have written about the Bottle Top Challenge before and here it was in it’s finished state, 65,000 bottle tops collected off Cornish beaches in a few months highlighting the amount of plastic and trash in our seas that is killing marine wildlife.
Here is a call out from Rame Peninsula Beach Care
‘As you probably know, the timing of the event was because the government currently has a consultation open into the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (in which the UK must put forward proposals on how it plans to achieve good marine environmental status by 2020). One of the target areas is marine litter – but the only proposal put forward is to introduce education about marine litter in eco-schools. Education is obviously important, but this doesn’t go far enough!!
There are lots of other areas that urgently need tackling.
You have a chance to make a difference – please send in a response to the consultation (closing date April 24) by emailing: MSFDteam@defra.gsi.gov.uk or in writing to
Marine Strategy Framework Directive Implementation team
Area 8B Millbank
c/o Nobel House
17 Smith Square
Tell them about what you saw yesterday, how the marine litter issue makes you feel, and how improved education in some schools, although important, is not going to stop the toxic tide that has allowed us to collect over 1 km (65,000) bottle tops from some beaches in just a few months!
If you need any ideas on areas to mention, these are some important ones we believe could make a real difference:
1) The need for plastics packaging producers to accept greater responsibility for their disposable products. We need a bottle deposit scheme for plastic bottles. Systems like this have reduced plastic bottle litter by up to 90% in countries where they are in place. We currently discard 15 million plastic bottles in the UK each day, of which over half are landfilled or littered.
2) A small surcharge on disposable plastic packaging. A 1p tax on bottles alone could raise £1 million a week. This could be spent (for example) on (a) a major nationwide online and media awareness campaign, (b) environmental warning labels on disposable plastic packaging and (c) a redesign of disposable plastic packaging to ensure it is 100% recycling.
3) An extension of the forthcoming charge on plastic shopping bags to all businesses rather than just stores with over 250 employees, as in the other countries of the UK.
4) Providing better disposal and recycling facilities for fishermen,
5) Banning all plastic micro-beads in cosmetics and taking stronger action on plastic sewage-related debris
6) Classifying balloon releases as littering, and therefore a criminal offence.’
If you want to see suggested text by Surfers Against Sewage for letters then head to the Rame Peninsula Beach Care Facebook page here Also below is an amazing film by Paramore productions showing the bottle top chain being laid out and then walked down the cliff to the beach.