Like last year, we did a beach clean for the 1st of January Balnakeil Beach walk. We collected 34 kg of plastics thanks to the efforts of 20 to 30 people. The weather was ok and the beach as stunning as usual. We have collected the usual culprits, flare parachutes, cords, ropes etc. There was a lot of work involved in collecting tiny particles that the sea had shredded.
A new year brings to the reflection about what was done and what is ahead. So we have collected 2.5 tonnes of plastic from Balnakeil Beach since we started cleaning it regularly in April 2017. We have spoken about it in different meetings with local associations, local people and scientists. We have started noticing patterns and waves of pollution incoming. This winter we did not have big pollution pulse like last year but the weather is very different: it has not been cold yet, the storms are not that strong (although today it is howling outside) and most of the sand is still on the berm (it usually goes offshore in the winter, forming bars). We are in full motion trying to setup the Plastic Lab in Balnakeil craft village, buying parts for the workshop, preparing for a shed, storing plastics, working out the delivery of the quad and all kind of little details that come along the way when you establish a new community company. We need a new employee, young, good at the job but also integrated within the community. Also people ask to have more similar bins in other places, how they can help and where to find the motivation. It feels difficult to be everywhere at the same time, also earn money and have some family life.
What can you say except hold on, we are having results here. There are things to do, there are things to invent and create. We can find solutions. I am afraid I cannot provide a single universal one but rather ask people to try to find their own. Do their own bit in cutting single-use plastics. Maybe clear of plastics the area around your house , organise beach cleans. Many small or big communities are gearing up. We will try to be there for the years to come providing support and doing our bit.
Thanks to the ones which want better and support better.