Beach clean for International Earth Day a bumbling success

A bumblebee litter picker on Brighton beach
A bumblebee litter picker on Brighton beach

Ladybirds and bumblebees were out for the Pier2Pier Silent Disco Beach Clean for International Earth Day on Sunday (April 22).

It was a warm, bright day for volunteers, who borrowed headphones to dance as they cleaned between the Palace Pier and West Pier on Brighton beach.

Organiser Amy Gibson, 29, was enthusiastic about the support for the event, which saw upwards of 200 people litter picking between 11am and 2pm.

She said: “We’re doing this obviously to clean up the beach, but also to raise awareness for people down on the beach.”

The early summer weather in the last week has brought a rush of beachgoers to the shore.

Despite efforts from the council and voluntary groups like this, many people still leave their litter behind them, with bins often left overflowing.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s #StreetsAhead campaign,part of the refuse and recycling arm of CityClean, was working with Pier2Pier this month.

A trash converter was set up outside The Tempest Inn on the seafront to separate and sort the rubbish collected for recycling.

Inside the pub, organisers handed out headphones with three channels of music to entertain, along with litter pickers.

They advised people to dress for the Earth Day theme and bring their own gloves and plastic bags.

Event organisers describe themselves as volunteers, without any particular affiliations, to Greenpeace or anyone else.

On its Facebook page, Pier2Pier says it is: “Dedicated to reducing plastic pollution – an issue close to our hearts.”

Ms Gibson, wearing a shark themed dress for the occasion, said the group supports the council’s commitment to reducing plastic waste.

Brighton and Hove City Council unanimously passed two motions in November last year for a ban on single-use plastics in Brighton’s council buildings.

There has since been an uptake of campaigns across Brighton and its businesses to clamp down on single use packaging, including coffee cups.

Ms Gibson promises more beach cleans this summer, with one planned for some time in May.

For more information, join the Pier2Pier Facebook group, here.