Posted: January 15, 2020
130 students have been inspired after attending a talk by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which has encouraged them to take action on our local beaches. The talk covered information on how our waste effects marine ecosystems including entanglement and ingestion, with a particular focus on marine mammals.
The young animal enthusiasts have been out to local focal points and collected over 160kg of waste from just being out at two separate locations in Cleethorpes and Paull, visiting each site twice. The activity involves picking up plastic bottles, litter and sanitary waste, recording the data and submitting it to the MCS.
Animal Management Student, Daniel Porter (17) said, “I got involved to help the wildlife. Plastic will take years to breakdown and the small bits of plastic will hurt the wildlife. If we can get the larger items of plastic this won’t happen. In just a space of a few hours we collected 37 Kilos of waste. When I saw how much plastic this included, I thought that it was a lot.”
The waste is weighed and inputted onto the Marine Conservation Societies (MCS) database, who then use the data to petition the government to make positive environmental changes. The MCS was one of the key players behind petitioning the government to enforce a charge for plastic bags, which has seen a 50% decrease in plastic bags found on British coastlines.
Jack Anderson (Curriculum Leader Animal Management) said, “It’s been great for students to work so closely with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the students have collected a huge amount of litter in a short amount of time, which just shows how much impact you can have but also how much there is still left to do. The most shocking part of the beach cleans was the sheer amount of sanitary waste found on the beaches, we collected over 2000 wet wipes. When storm drains are full the waste is ejected by water companies into the ocean, this has a big impact on the
environment as well as a hazard to wildlife. What we have all learnt and I encourage all to remember is the only things that should be going down your toilet are the three Ps – poo, paper and pee, nothing else!”
This is an ongoing project that the students will be involved in, which will see in the future the College being designated a section of beach by the MCS. The process will be repeated quarterly with the data being recorded onto the MCS website.