The Marine Conservation Society held a beach clean at the Kinneil Local Nature Reserve last week, joined by Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald.
Angus and his team were joined by volunteers from Fidra, Friends of Kinneil Local Nature Reserve and Falkirk Council Rangers. The group collected eight kilograms of rubbish, with an average of 10 items of litter per metre. The rubbish collected was made up largely of plastic waste (51 per cent) alongside sanitary waste including cotton bud sticks and wet wipes.
The group, guided by Fidra, also conducted a ‘nurdle hunt’, recording 500g of small plastic pellets which equates to approximately 20,000 nurdles in just 20 minutes. Nurdles are used in the production of plastic products and are so small they are often hard to detect.
Angus MacDonald MSP said: “I was delighted with the beach survey and clean. We had a great turnout of volunteers who all worked hard to help clean the beach at the Kinneil Nature Reserve for everyone’s benefit.
“We all must do our bit to stop the plastic tide. I’d encourage more people to get along and help out at their local beach clean, and I will continue to push the issue at Parliament in order to ensure that we are doing everything we can to clean up our environment for a better, cleaner and more sustainable future.”
Jasper Hamlet, project officer at Fidra said: “Being part of days like this, taking part in citizen science programmes such as MCS’s Beachwatch and Fidra’s Great Nurdle Hunt, are so important. Collecting this valuable data of the plastic pollution along our coastlines helps us to advocate for solutions to prevent the pollution at its source.”
Catherine Gemmell, MCS Scotland conservation officer said: “This beach clean was a fantastic example of what communities are doing up and down Scotland’s shoreline and what we would love to see more of. It is only when we pull together that we can help to stop the plastic tide hitting our shores.
“Thanks to volunteers the data gathered on these beach cleans helps make a difference not just locally, but nationally too.
“The Scottish Government ban on plastic cotton bud sticks is coming any day now thanks to the evidence our volunteers have collected over the years - so we hope to see a lot less of these in the future.”