‘We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be - we shall fight on the beaches ...’ -Winston Churchill 1940
Stirring words - however, the real enemy we all now face on our shoreline is the constant invasion of plastic waste and its devastating effects on our marine and coastal environments – the scale of the problem has seen increased awareness through TV series such as ‘The Blue Planet’ as well as continual press coverage.
One organisation setting out with considerable success to combat this menace is Plastic@Bay, a community interest company based in Durness on Scotland’s NW Coast.
Founded by Julien and Joan D’Arcy both geoscientists, Plastic@bay has set out to actively tackle marine plastic pollution in NW Scotland and beyond.
Activities include community ‘beach cleans’, dedicated beach patrols and other practical measures as well as vital research into plastics flux and re-cycling approaches together with educational outreach, awareness raising and publishing.
Protecting Sutherland’s rugged coastline and beaches through mounting regular beach patrols is one of the tasks undertaken by Hannah Smith, the company’s full time ‘Plastic Ranger’, who is now aided in her duties by the recent arrival of an Eco Charger Eliminator 2 4WD.
“The electric quad is tasked with carrying plastic from the beach to our workshop for
recycling or to the skip. It's perfect for gaining access to difficult to reach beaches and
coves. It has totally revolutionised our whole operation, we no longer waste time lugging
large bags of rubbish through sand to reach the road.”
– Hannah Smith
Visit plasticatbay.org to find out more.