Wednesday 11 May 2022

Plastic on the beach

I feel very lucky when it comes to plastic rubbish on my local beaches here in West Sussex. When I'm on the beach I very rarely see any rubbish. I mainly see pieces of rope and twine that I assume are linked to the fishing industry, or recent rubbish like bottles and cups that have been dropped by visitors. I think that locals and the council are very good at keeping the beaches clean. 

So I was sad on our recent holiday to Mauritius to see just how much plastic there was on the beach. It wasn't larger items like plastic bottles, as these were cleared away regularly by the resort staff. But buried in the sand and caught up in the clumps of seaweed there were hundreds of pieces of coloured plastic, some of them very tiny. It was mainly on the upper beach area rather than in the sea itself but it had clearly come from the sea and looked as though it had been there for some time.

Plastic collected from the beach

I couldn't stop myself from picking up as much as I could while walking along the beach, and Mia helped as well, roaming about with a discarded paper cup and collecting everything that she could find. It felt like a never ending job, although I did feel that by the end of our stay there was less plastic to be found. Nonetheless it was still an overwhelming feeling to think that I could collect so much plastic in just a few hours on a very small stretch of coastline.

Some of the larger plastic pieces I put in the bin, but I did bring a collection of small pieces back with me with the intention of creating some sort of art work with them. I've been inspired by similar things that I've seen online - have a look at my Pinterest board at the bottom of the post to see the sort of thing that I mean. 

On a related note a few companies have come to my attention recently that I thought I would mention, as they are all doing great things with recycled beach plastic waste.

Wyatt and Jack collect old and damaged inflatables and turn them into colourful upcycled bags as well as whole range of other products including purses and planters. They used to accept donations of old inflatable materials but it looks as though they have had to pause that for the time being as they were overwhelmed. I've got my eyes on one of the cosmetic pouches or purses.

Children love plastic beach toys for the beach but they are a huge source of plastic rubbish. Dantoy have created a new range called Blue Marine Toys which are made from recycled maritime materials. I love this range of sand and water toys, and although mine are getting a big older now I think that a set would make a great gift for new parents that haven't yet started a collection of beach toys.

Recycled beach toys from Dantoy
Photo credit 

Finally this company keeps popping up on my Facebook - Waterhaul. They make some lovely glasses, sunglasses and other equipment from recycled ocean plastic products. You can get the glasses made up to your prescription and they seem quite reasonably priced, although it's been a while since I needed new glasses so I'm a bit out of touch with the process!

Here's my Beach Plastic Art Pinterest board of beach art using plastic that I'm hoping will inspire me to make something beautiful with the plastic that I have collected.

1 comment:

  1. It is horrible to see rubbish on the beach, especially the plastic. I feel so sad for the creatures in the sea.
    The Dantoy toys made from recycled materials are such a good idea. x


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