Cleaning up Mull's beaches

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 23 May 2017

On Monday 22nd May, we teamed up with the crew of the Greenpeace boat “Beluga II” together with three primary schools - Ulva, Lochdonhead and Dervaig - to clean up Kilninian beach, a beauty spot on the North West coast of Mull.

Mull Beach Clean

On Monday 22nd May, we teamed up with the crew of the Greenpeace boat “Beluga II” together with three primary schools - Ulva, Lochdonhead and Dervaig - to clean up Kilninian beach, a beauty spot on the North West coast of Mull. We found over 30Kg of rubbish, made up of a mixture of rope, bottles, caps and other plastic items. Catherine Gemmell, MCS Scotland Conservation Officer, said “Today was a fantastic celebration of working together. It was great to be trained up by some true local Beachwatch experts - the pupils from three schools!” The Greenpeace and MCS teams met with 25 pupils from the Isles Lochdon, Ulva and Dervaig primary schools followed by a presentation at Ulva school by Greenpeace, inviting questions from the pupils about their voyage. Catherine continues: “Back at Ulva Primary School we discovered how long these items take to disappear in the sea, and how plastic never truly disappears at all! The pupils came up with their own ideas on how to #EndOceanPlastics. Everything from writing to their local MSP to creating their own video was discussed.” Frank Heweston, Greenpeace Campaigner said “It was fabulous to work with the primary schools during the beach clean today. Greenpeace looks to encourage and support environmental awareness at as young an age as possible. If Ulva, Lochdonhead and Dervaig Primary are anything to go by, there is so much to be hopeful and positive about”. Mairi Nicolson, Principal Teacher, Ulva Primary said: “The children of Ulva Primary School have a great interest and concern for their local environment and beyond. Living on an island they are seeing the evidence of the plastic problem washing up on their shores. We were delighted to have the pleasure and the privilege of working with members from both Greenpeace and the Marine Conservation Society today, who came to join us on one of our beach cleans. The school was left feeling motivated to continue with our beach cleans and the children were able to think about more things they could be doing at home as individuals to help stop plastic waste reaching the oceans in the first place.

Listen to Catherine Gemmell’s podcast

Actions you can take

  1. Organise a beach clean
  2. Visit the beachwatch website
  3. Browse Scotland's Marine Atlas
  4. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017
  5. Find out more about Scottish Wildlife
  6. Join a beach clean

Did you know?…

On UK beaches levels of litter have doubled in the past 20 years

It’s estimated that one rubbish truck load of plastic litter enters the ocean every minute

MCS launched its Beachwatch programme in 1994

Scotland’s Parliament: Ambitions for Scotland announced - MCS comment

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out a big Programme for Government in Scotland’s Parliament.

Read comment from MCS

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