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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Sea Life Brighton Issues Urgent Plea for More Responsibility as Beaches Are Overwhelmed By Plastic Waste

Sea Life Brighton has issued an urgent appeal for the public to become more responsible with their waste after collecting a record amount of rubbish on Brighton beach. 

On Sunday, the world's oldest operating aquarium hosted its first beach clean of the year, amassing 17 bags of waste weighing a hefty 75.1 kilos from Brighton Beaches.

The beach clean was their biggest clean to date, with a record breaking 145 people turning up to help clear the shore of plastic litter to prevent it entering our oceans.

Fiona Snowdon, aquarist at the Brighton Sea Life Centre, said: 

"It seems that despite the amazing turn out, and clear difference in the public"s attitudes towards litter and plastic waste, there's still an alarming amount of rubbish on the beach.

"Every year, 8 million metric tonnes of rubbish enters the seas, with the most problematic items being small plastics such as straws, bottle lids and plastic bags.  

Brighton & Hove two-minute beach clean

"Most people are aware of the damage to the environment litter creates, however, these are things that are easily forgotten and left behind so please triple check when you leave the beach for any smaller items you might have missed."

Sea Life Brighton staff hope the worrying results from their first beach clean will inspire people to take action and make a personal pledge to reduce ocean pollution on the Sea Life Trust charity's national #teamturtle campaign website: teamturtle.sealifetrust.org/pledge.

The campaign encourages the use of reusable resources in an effort to prevent ocean pollution, with a focus on reducing plastic bags entering the sea. 

Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, one of their favourite foods, and ingesting them can cause the endangered creatures a long and painful death. 

Pledges so far include using reusable shopping bags, reusable drinking straws and reusable water bottles.

Fiona explained: "Beach cleans are a great way to get people enthusiastic about conservation, however they should also be an important wake up call to raise more awareness about preventing ocean pollution, as well as cleaning it up. 

"Luckily people are a lot more switched on thanks to the amazing work by the Sea Life Trust and shows like Blue Planet, but there"s always room for improvement.

"One pledge can make the difference between life and death for a vulnerable sea creature, so this is an urgent appeal for everyone to join #teamturtle and do their bit" 

Sea Life Brighton hosts regular beach cleans with the next one on Wednesday 4th of July at 10am. Visit their website for more information on how to sign up.

To find out more about marine conservation at Sea Life Brighton, please visit: www.visitsealife.com/brighton. To make a pledge to prevent ocean pollution and save the lives of vulnerable marine creatures, please visit: teamturtle.sealifetrust.org/pledge.

by: Mike Cobley




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