Being surfers and ocean lovers, the plight of plastic pollution in our seas has become increasingly visible. From tropical beaches to our home shores, there are bags, masks and nets bobbing about in the lineup, leaving us grappling with plastic in every paddle.
With the ocean playing host as a second home to many of us and at the forefront of the fight against plastic pollution, we’re united in our desire to rid our waves of waste.
Thankfully, local anti-plastic pioneers, City to Sea, are already turning the tide and campaigning for solutions, resulting in them becoming one of the catalysts that kicked-off the proposal to host our very own Blue Earth Summit.
Battling both monstrous waves and microplastics, the crew recently embarked on a 3000 mile sailing adventure, weaving their tall ship along Cornish coasts, through Hebridean hotspots and sailing into cities, with an aim to better understand the scale of plastic pollution in UK waters.
Surveying 47 beaches and studying everything from the tide line to the ocean floor, the team found over 6,500 pieces of plastic pollution, with even the most remote of uninhabited islands unable to escape the plastic pandemic.
Fresh out of sea-sickness pills and with a new-found appreciation for the beauty of home waters, the team returned with a whole host of insight and information to help in the battle to cleanse our coastlines.
“Seeing first-hand the scale of marine pollution right here in the UK on our stunning coastline and the impact it’s having on our iconic wildlife was a sobering reminder of why our work is so important and how far we still have to go to tackle the issue. This really was a life-changing experience for me personally – not just because it was so amazing to get back out there and spend time at sea after 18 months behind my desk at home due to the pandemic, but also because it was inspiring to meet the incredible individuals and communities around the UK that are creating a wave of change and making a difference where they live.” – Jo Morley, Head of Marketing and Campaigns at City to Sea.
The data from the voyage is currently being analysed, with the results available soon from City to Sea.
You can listen to Jo Morley from City to Sea alongside marine biologist Stephanie Lavelle recount their epic voyage on our Blue Earth Summit podcast series below.