Our beaches are some of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Unfortunately, they are becoming overwhelmed by garbage and plastic.
Pat Smith decided that she would do what she could to help put an end to this problem and help her local beaches look beautiful again.
The Cornwall, England grandmother made a New Year’s Resolution to clean up one local beach each week for the entire year.
The 70-year-old kept her word and cleaned up 52 beaches in 2018.
“Doing 52 beach cleans in 2018 was my New Year’s Resolution and it’s finally done. I won’t stop as our beaches need me,” Smith said, according to Cornwall Live.
A big storm ended up hitting the area and dumped tons of trash on local beaches. That’s when Smith knew she had to do something.
“People don’t understand I’ve been doing this voluntarily,” Smith said. “We should all take responsibility for picking up the litter, as well as ensuring we don’t drop litter in the first place.”
“Anyone can do this when they are out and about—dog walking, fitness walking, jogging, or enjoying the fresh air,” she says. “It is surprising how few people do though; most don’t even seem to notice the rubbish anymore. [If everyone followed] #threeforthesea and picked up just three items of rubbish on each walk to the beach, what a difference it would make!” Smith said, according to MSN.
Smith says she’s picked up 563 pieces of garbage within 90 minutes. That’s how much garbage is on these beaches!
Smith estimates about half the trash to come from waste discarded off of fishing boats with the other half coming from trash left by people. Much of the waste is plastic.
That’s why she’s also founded Cornwall’s Final Straw initiative which aims to encourage the public and local businesses to cease their use of single-use plastic straws.
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Final Straw’s campaign states that every plastic straw currently on the planet will outlive “everyone reading these words.”
They are hoping people will make the switch to single-use paper straws which break down easier or reusable bamboo, stainless steel, or glass straws.
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