We see organizations doing beach cleanups all the time around the world, but so many people ask the question: Do these beach cleanups really make a difference?
The unfortunate answer is NO, beach cleanups don’t make a physical difference at all for the health of our beaches.
Yes, a small group of people picking up plastic, marine debris, and other trash they find on the beach could save an animal or two in that day. But the sick reality is that when you return to that same beach in a day, a week, or a month, it will be just as dirty as when you began (if not dirtier).
So why do people volunteer for beach cleanups? Well, it’s because even though they don’t make a physical difference, they allow us to show the world what’s polluting our local beaches. By SHOWING people the effects of their actions, and inspiring them to change their habits and respect the beach, we can stop the flow of plastic at its source.
An Important Analogy
We need to think of the litter on our beaches as a ‘Leaky Faucet’.
If you have a leaky faucet, you cannot fix the problem simply by scooping out water from your sink using a cup, right? This will only slow down the flooding for a brief moment. And as soon as you stop scooping the water out you’ll find yourself overflowing with water.
The real key is to fix the leak in the faucet. Stop the flow of water – and you solve the problem.
Now think of beach cleanups as using a cup to scoop out the water. It won’t solve the leaking plastic and waste at its source.
But how do you fix the leak of plastic?
The answer lies in social media and technology today. In our technologically advanced world, social media has given us a tool to reach so many more people than ever before. And to bring awareness to the world about the problems that we see everyday.
When people perform a beach cleanup in their local beaches, they can help to SOLVE the leaky faucet of plastic by taking pictures and videos of the litter they find, and sharing with their local community and followers. By showing the world the problem it places the consequences of their actions right in front of their own eyes. And by showing the world that you’re cleaning up their mess – it inspires people to make real changes in their everyday lives. This is why beach cleanups are necessary and important.
Take Action Today
You can get involved in the movement to keep our world’s beaches clean today by taking part in our #BeachCleanupBucketChallenge!
We challenge you to bring a bucket with you to the beach (and some gloves for safety), and to fill it with whatever litter you find around you. Share a photo or video of the litter you’ve found, with the hashtag #BeachCleanupBucketChallenge – and then challenge more of your friends and followers to do the same.
Together we can change the norm from polluted coastlines – to a cleaner, more pristine world like it should be.