In February we held 2 large scale clean ups, returning to two former clean up locations from 2018, Ballywalter beach and the Lagan Towpath in Lisburn. We have been blessed to have such great support at our clean up events and want to take a moment before diving into the summaries to express our thanks to all of those who took time out of their week to come down and help combat the growing problem of pollution and plastic in the oceans.
Bags Removed - 35
Volunteers - 23
This was our fifth time working on the beaches around Ballywalter and once again it proved to be a days full of hard work with many large items and bags full of plastic waste to be removed. Within minutes of arriving on the beach a young volunteer discovered a large metal gas canister, empty, but still a heavy enough to require caution. Soon it was joined by many large ropes and torn nets that had been discarded upon the sand after the weekends storm. With a small group I headed to the large boulder wall an spent the next 90 minutes filling more than 8 bags full of plastic wrapping, takeout containers and other small items. We also removed lots of shattered glass from the rocks, placing it into the glass recycling bins at the harbor nearby. We had incredible support as always and managed to remove so much in only 2 hours. What's more it takes our total for this location to 141 bags of litter, which is a crazy figure, and shows the scale of rubbish and large items washing up along the peninsulas coast.
Lisburn Lagan Towpath
Bags removed - 29
Volunteers - 17
Once again we returned to the Lagan towpath, or fourth trip along the Lagan and second in Lisburn. Just as before we found piles of litter lying on either side of the winding river, mainly from drinking spots and areas of obvious fly tipping. We decided to split up to cover more ground sending groups along either bank of the river. It always amazes me how much litter can be found in such beautiful places, with the wildflowers and towering trees, not to mention the ever present ducks and swans that live in the river and surrounding area. It is not only a scar on the Lagans beautiful face, but a real and ever present danger for the wildlife that live there. But we did our best and by the end of the clean up had a pile of 29 bags including several larger items such as the old TV set, kids play kitchen and shopping trolley found along the path. It is always so sad to see so much glass bottles and poo bags in the treeline along the path, and the amount of larger items carelessly dumped by the waters edge is a real shame. But at least for today, this section of the towpath is clean.
Thank you to everyone who came out to help with the events and if you want to get involved head over to our events page to see when and where our next big events are happening.
Also if you want to help support our clean up events head over to our Online Store. We have lots of minimal waste and vegan friendly items for sale and it helps keep Clear Ripple Projects running.