‘By taking small steps, we can bring about real change’
Marine biologist Emily Stevenson, 23, has been litter-picking along the Cornish coast for years.
She says, “In the past couple of years we saw a real shift in people’s attitudes towards plastic use. Most people carried a reusable coffee cup and a bag for life. But the pandemic has also now created an environmental crisis, as lots of us are using single-use PPE without realising the damage. Many single-use masks contain hard-to-recycle plastic, and disposable gloves are made from transparent light plastic.
“The recent images of littered nature spots have been tragic. Everyone has a part to play in saving the planet. Start with small changes – for example, if I see a group of unequipped picnickers, I’ll offer a bin liner. Or you could carry a bag the next time you’re on a walk to collect any litter you pass.
“By taking small steps, we can bring about real change. Since I began my litter-picking initiative, Beach Guardian, the bags of rubbish we collect has reduced significantly, because more people are doing their bit.
“There’s more plastic in the world’s oceans than ever before, but by starting small, you can change your local environment, and that’s one step closer to a greener planet.”
● For more information on reducing waste and keeping our beaches clean – and to get involved – go to Beachguardian.org