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  • Southside

World’s biggest ocean cleanup event comes to Dublin’s beaches

Tuesday, 17th September, 2019 1:00pm
World’s biggest ocean cleanup event comes to Dublin’s beaches

Cullen Allen of Cully and Sully, Sinead McCoy of Clean Coasts and Colum O’Sullivan, Cully and Sully, at the launch of the Big Beach Clean.

World’s biggest ocean cleanup event comes to Dublin’s beaches

Cullen Allen of Cully and Sully, Sinead McCoy of Clean Coasts and Colum O’Sullivan, Cully and Sully, at the launch of the Big Beach Clean.

THE Big Beach Clean, the annual call to action run by the Clean Coasts programme is coming to Dublin.

It runs on the third weekend of September every year and is part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy.

Last year was the first time in the International Coastal Cleanup’s history of 34 years where participants reached above one million volunteers worldwide.

Worldwide, over one million volunteers in more than 120 countries collected nearly 23.3 million pounds (or 10.6 million kilograms) of trash during last years ICC.

Since the first ICC over 30 years ago, more than 15 million volunteers have removed nearly 315 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide.

During this weekend volunteers are asked to record and report on the types of litter they collect, as the information offers a better understanding of what material is in our oceans and how we can tackle the issue.

As in previous years, cigarette butts, which contain plastic filters, topped the list at approximately 5.7 million collected; with food wrappers (just over 3.7 million), plastic straws and stirrers (just under 3.7 million), plastic cutlery (nearly two million), and plastic beverage bottles (nearly 1.8 million) rounding out the top five.

The Big Beach Clean, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, focuses on citizen science to gather this information.

Local beach cleaners will be asked to fill in a Marine Litter Data Card, which is easy to fill in and can be done alongside your cleanup.

The information that organisers are looking for is what litter items you are finding and the quantities of them. Once you have filled in the data card, you can visit the website and input your results or post the data card back to Clean Coasts programme office.

The information you gather will be sent to the Ocean Conservancy where data from all around the world will be compiled.

Last year in Ireland over 3,400 Clean Coasts volunteers took to Irish beaches and removed over 32 tonnes of rubbish during 194 beach cleans as part of the international effort.

“We are on track to break this record with already 200 clean ups registered to date,” a spokesperson said.

“So far over 1,000 volunteers are signed up to run beachcleans along the Dublin coast in 20 locations.

“So join us for the Big Beach Clean this year, register at and receive your free beach clean kit.”

As big fans of the water, Cully and Sully are very excited to be supporting the Big Beach Clean 2019 which will be running over Friday, September 20 to Sunday 22 on hundreds of beaches around Ireland.

Clean Coasts manager, Sinead McCoy, said: “Last year, over 187 beach cleans took place as part of our Big Beach Clean, engaging 3,652 volunteers who removed over 32 tonnes of marine litter from our coastline.

“We are excited to build on this success and get even more volunteers out cleaning this weekend. This year you can find your local beach clean or sign up on”

Speaking at the launch, Colum O’ Sullivan of Cully and Sully, added: “We are really conscious of the issue with plastic in our oceans and have been actively taking steps to reduce the plastic we have in our products.

Cullen Allen, aka Cully of Cully & Sully, said: “We really wanted to get involved to help spread the word about this terrific Clean Coasts event.

“Last year volunteers gathered the equivalent weight of over six African elephants. That is such a direct action on marine litter.”

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