It only takes 2 to Take 3

Dianne McGrath, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crew member and proud Take 3 for the Sea Ambassador, planned to take time off from her training to take part in an organised beach clean-up in the South of England. Dianne did not let the cancelation of the clean-up and poor weather conditions stop her! Determined to Take 3 for the Sea, Dianne joined forces with a friend close by. You can read her account of her day below:

I was supposed to do an organised beach clean in the South of England on 14 August, but weather and other circumstances intervened. Not to be dissuaded, I went with my friend who I was staying with in Poole, and we decided to see how much litter we could pick up in 15 minutes in a 100-metre stretch of beach at Poole on a Monday morning after what would have been a busy summer break weekend. I was expecting to find drink bottles and food containers strewn about.

When we got to the beach, it appeared to be very clean, and we assumed that local authorities would have cleaned up after the weekend’s revellers. However, looks can be deceiving, and we started to spot cigarette butts and discarded tissues and wet wipes in the rain-damp sand. So, while the authorities (and likely many/some beach-goers) had cleaned up the larger proportion of litter, there was still more than desirable. We collected around 1 kilogram of litter in those short 15 minutes, and mostly very small items.

A mix of littered items collected from the beach

Take 3 for the Sea has a Community Supporter Program which enables local groups and organisations to run their own clean-ups, and organise fundraising activities and other events to support Take 3. Take 3 provides Community Supporters with the tools and information to speak on behalf of Take 3, inspiring more people to action on behalf of the ocean. In the lead up to my trip to the UK to prepare for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Take 3 sent me tools to enable me to undertake a beach clean anywhere. The most important tool for this Poole beach clean were the gloves!

Dianne McGrath

As noted, cigarette butts and discarded tissues and wet wipes dominated the waste we collected. The usual suspects were also found such as ice cream sticks, straws, and condiment sachets. Since starting the beach cleans here in the UK before race start (3 Sept!!) I’ve been reflecting on the types of litter that has been found and thus discarded by others, and what could be done to change that.

Firstly – Let’s tidy up what’s there so it doesn’t have an ongoing negative impact. Like what Take 3 says: “Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or … anywhere and you have made a difference.”

Secondly (and equally as important):

  1. Let’s rethink our use of products so any accidental fly-away littering doesn’t happen. Smoke cigarettes? Thank you for butting it out, and taking it with you in a small container. Eating food at the beach with sachets of condiments and using paper napkins? Pop the torn and used bits into the food packet once you’ve finished eating so it can be popped in the bin.
  2. Let’s rethink our purchases so that commonly discarded items are less prevalent. For example, choose drinks without straws, or ice creams that don’t have sticks or plastic wrapping.

Remember, simple actions can address complex problems and collectively we can have a massive impact.