SEA LIFE Conservation Champion and Glebe House School Eco Council join forces to tackle plastic pollution
SEA LIFE Hunstanton and Glebe House School Eco Council join forces to tackle pollution with a 'Spring Beach Clean' on Old Hunstanton beach.
Inspiring the next generation to care about our environment and conservation is one of the core values of SEA LIFE, so when the Eco Council of Glebe House School asked for support with making their school more environmentally friendly, SEA LIFE Conservation Champion Hollie Stephenson was delighted to answer the call.
The Eco School Council is a student run project aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of the school and educate pupils and staff about environmental issues. The students on the council have assessed ways to reduce the school's waste and recycling more, find more sustainable energy sources and conserve water, increase biodiversity, encourage healthy living and promote global citizenship.
One of the key issues highlighted by the students was plastic pollution and reducing their single use plastics. Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental problems, affecting every corner of the globe. It is estimated that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans as every year, up to 8 million tons of plastic waste enter our oceans, the majority of which washes out from landfill blown into our waterways. '
"When I was asked to support the children on the Glebe House School Eco Council I suggested we could launch our collaboration with a local beach clean" said Hollie
"Marine pollution is a topic very close to our hearts at SEA LIFE" explains Aquarist Hollie Stephenson, "every year we rescue seals entrapped in litter and discarded fishing gear, we even had a 3 week old pup that had ingested fishing line. That might have been the first fish that baby seal ate".
One of the fastest growing problems we've seen over the last 12 months is pollution from disposable masks. Face coverings may have protected many of us during the pandemic but single use masks have become a big problem for our birds and wildlife as they pollute our environment. It is estimated the UK disposes of 53 million face masks a day, whilst many go to landfills, too many are finding their way into our waterways, parks and woodlands and hundreds of animals have needed rescuing from entanglement or entrapment.
"In a survey conducted by the Marine Conservation Society, Disposable face masks were discovered on 30% of the Uk's beaches last year. This is a huge problem as they can take up to 450 years to break down in the environment"
"With our local population of common seals about to start giving birth within the next few weeks around the beautiful Norfolk coastline we want to make the area as safe as possible for mum and pup" added Hollie.
"One of the most important things we can all do to ensure we keep our beaches clean is to take your rubbish home or place it in a bin" urged Hollie.