Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Salt Water Sandals and their #saltiebeachclean

This week at MCS it's beach clean crazy in the run up to our Great British Beach Clean this weekend (15th - 19th September). To get you in the beach cleaning mood we thought you might like to hear how one of our partners Salt-Water Sandals got on at a recent clean they attended. 

Here at Salt-Water Sandals we have always had a very strong relationship with The Marine Conservation Society (MCS). We have been working together for a few years now; from collaborative competitions, to designing special edition sandals with a seaside theme. This year we decided to name our Turquoise Original as the official MCS Sandal with 10% of all proceeds going directly to MCS.

To help out in person, this August we decided to put our feet first and step onto the MCS’s turf in way of a Beach Clean. All our families were invited and off we went to Birling Gap for a day out of the office. With the help & guidance of the lovely Kate Whitton from MCS we were ready to go! Well after dipping our Salties in the water and a quick ice cream stop…

We were met by Kate in a café where she gave us a bit of background about MCS, their work and their beach cleans AKA Beachwatch. We were upset to learn that only 1% of the UK seas are protected and that only 10,000 people volunteer to help clean the UK’s beaches every year. We were very excited to get our day started and try and help as much as we could.

Off we went with bin bags and litter pickers – on first look at the beautiful coast we wondered whether we would even find anything to clean. It was picturesque and seemed to be in good nick… It didn’t take long for us to be proven wrong. We were shocked by the amount (and variety) of litter on this seemingly ‘clean’ coastline. From plastic, to batteries, to rope, to a pair of pants!

In just under an hour, on a strip of 100m of the beach, our small but mighty team collected 538 items (and these were just the easily identifiable items!)

Once we had completed our day of cleaning we went back to the café to compare litter notes and create a ‘litter timeline’ with everyday objects found on beaches. We were given an array of items and lots of different cards with different time frames and had to guess which item went with which card. After some – shall we say heated – discussions we settled on our timeline and after getting it wrong (4 times!!) we finally got the seal of approval from MCS’s Kate.

For your information, here is our full timeline and time it takes for items to fully decompose. WARNING – some time frames may shock you – and hopefully make you THINK!

Cardboard – 2-5 years
Balloon – 4 years
Plastic Bag – 20-50+ years
Crisp Packet – 75 years
Tin Can – 450 years
Nappy – 500 years
Plastic Bottle – 450-1000 years
Glass – Forever

At the end of a very thought provoking and eye opening day MCS treated us to a bit of Rock Pooling on our newly cleaned beach. We we soon found lots of marine life from crabs, to sea snails, to anemones.

Finishing off our day like this and seeing all of the marine life in its natural habitat completely highlighted the significance of the Beach Clean and all the hard work MCS do on a day to day basis.

We would like to ask everyone to GET INVOLVED! Whether you would like to organize your own event in way of a work day out or a family trip to the seaside or maybe just jumping in on an already organised event like The Great British Beach Clean (taking place over the 15th-18th September)– the MCS need your help! More importantly the UK’s seas need your help. Join the Beachwatch today and truly make a difference.

*** Ps: we decided unanimously that the pair of pants won ‘find of the day’!

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