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  • Southside

Flossie cleans up!

Monday, 7th January, 2019 8:00am
Flossie cleans up!

Flossie and the Beach Cleaners

Flossie cleans up!

Flossie and the Beach Cleaners

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Gabija Gataveckaite

A NEW Year’s Day beach clean-up organised by an 11-year-old environmentalist has been deemed a resounding success. 

Flossie and the Beach Cleaners welcomed large crowds who turned up to help collect rubbish after New Year’s Eve celebrations on Killiney Beach. Flossie Donnelly described the turnout as “amazing”.

“We wanted to start the new year with a nice clean beach as there would be a lot of microplastics around after New Year’s Eve parties,” she told Southside People.

Dozens of people arrived on the beach and spent the afternoon collecting rubbish, which resulted in approximately 10 blue bags of plastic being gathered.

“It was an amazing turn out and there was a lot of area to cover,” added Flossie. 

The cleaners found the beach to be mainly littered with clothes, socks, and cans and bottles after celebrations had taken place there the night before.

The event was supported by Dalkey Tidy Towns and Cllr Cormac Devlin (FF), who has organised the New Year’s Day beach clean-up in previous years. 

“Flossie spread the message on social media,” Cllr Devlin said. “But she has been cleaning the beach in Sandycove on a monthly basis.”

“She does a fantastic job for someone so young and she is an inspiration for the community and her peers,” he added. 

Flossie’s group, Flossie and the Beach Cleaners, was founded two years ago by the young local girl and her parents. 

“People call it a group but it’s more for whoever wants to come along and join in,” she explained. “But whenever we have a clean up it’s always me, my mum and my dad and whoever else who wants to come along.

“We just don’t want marine life to suffer from plastic waste,” she added. “We want to see a future.”

“Flossie’s message is the focus on cleaning up plastic waste from the ocean, the small plastic items and aluminium cans that all wash up with sea weed and pollute our seas,” Cllr Devlin said. 

“By 2030, it is predicted that half of the sea’s contents will contaminated by plastic waste. It is an epidemic and we should do all we can to stop it,” he added.

The youngster was first motivated to start cleaning up beaches on a family holiday. Each week, she spends time collecting rubbish on local beaches.

“When I was seven- years-old, I was on holidays in Thailand and I went on a hike and there was a lot of rubbish along our way. I then decided to start cleaning up the local beaches back home,” she explained.

However, 2018 was the first time the young environmentalist organised her first big project. 

Flossie raised over €4,000 to fund a Seabin, which currently stands in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

A Seabin is a floating rubbish bin, which is placed in the water and uses a pump to trap floating waste, like bottles and plastic bags.

“I started fundraising for it in 2017 and we had a table quiz, a disco and I also set up a GoFundMe,” she explained. 

Flossie revealed that she has big plans in store for the year ahead. 

“I want to try and register Flossie and the Beach Cleaners as a proper charity and eventually head out to Indonesia, to go and clean up the plastic there,” she said. 

Video footage of heavily polluted rivers in Indonesia went viral last year. Flossie hopes to one day gather her beach cleaners and help.  “That would be an amazing trip to go on,” she declared.

Dr Michael Clark, Flossie Donnelly and Cllr Cormac Devlin at the New Year’s Day 2019 Beach Clean-Up.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here