To raise awareness for Plastic Free July, the Bower team organised an official Bower Beach Clean last month! We headed to the beautiful Sandymouth Bay Beach in Cornwall - an initially pristine looking beach that quickly uncovered a different story.
What did we find? Sadly - plastic, plastic and more plastic. Huge pieces of plastic (a fridge door and a broken lobster trap), plastic bottles, food wrappers, plastic ropes tied in knots around the wildlife. Not to mention microplastics; tiny shimmering pieces that look strangely beautiful until you realise where they came from.
Sadly, wherever we looked we found it and it didn’t take long to collect 5 large bags - or 390 individual pieces - of plastic. Members of the public and locals alike stopped us to add their own findings, cementing the sense that this is a collective problem and that a collective effort is needed to make a difference.
We completed the Marine Conservation Society’s beach clean survey to record the data of all that we collected. This data is used to inform our governments on the issue of litter, to help form policies that prevent it from reaching the natural environment.
You can see from our findings that by far the worst offender when it comes to beach littering is plastic, totalling 96% of the litter found.
Plastic associated with fishing was evidently a huge problem. We found 145 pieces of plastic cord and 70 tangled nets within a 200m stretch of beach.
Fishing plastic is extremely dangerous to wildlife as it is designed for the purpose of catching and killing sea life. Sadly this can extend to animals not intended for capture, as globally, ‘100,000 marine mammals die every year as a result of plastic pollution. This includes whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions’(1).
Other items that we found were clearly plastic packaging originating from household cleaning products.
This packaging is often single-use plastic and ends up in our natural environment when failed by our recycling systems.
At Bower, we believe that there is a better way to consume products - a way that doesn’t see the packaging washed up on our beaches and endangering marine life. Thanks to our closed-loop recycling system, every refill pouch returned to us is successfully recycled by our specialist recycling partner.
And because we are passionate about protecting our oceans, we protect 1m² of seagrass with every Bower purchase thanks to our charity partners, the Marine Conservation Society. It’s just another way of saying we want to leave the world better than we found it.
If you would like to get involved in our next Bower Beach Clean, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch when we have details to share.