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Harvey John’s annual big beach clean: part 2

It’s the end of another financial year and our big 15-year anniversary so we took to the beach for our annual clean-up! We’re lucky to have the beautiful Brighton Beach steps away from where we’re located so it was time to grab the bin bags, and gloves, and hit the pebbles. It’s a hot spot for locals, London commuters, and those further afield, so we wanted to show this well-used beach some love.


In our blog last year where we hit the beach, a bit part of our inspiration came from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II conservation rallying cry. It’s shocking the extent of plastic pollution there is in the world’s oceans, so we’re doing a small part to take responsibility for our own impact.

It’s not just the tourists

On our walk to the beach this morning, one member of the team commented on the surprise that many beach-goers who contribute to the trash are locals. The Hove beaches aren’t frequented by tourists as much as those closer to the Pier, yet they get a shockingly high amount of litter every day. It was an eye-opening realisation that locals, who call this lovely city their home, are contributing just as much as those who’ve travelled far for a day out.

We saw netting, champagne casings, lighters, cigarette butts, bottle caps, and, you’d be surprised to hear, a broken Samsung phone! On top of this, there was even a brand new Swiss army knife – the list of litter-covered items we sure weren’t expecting! We ended up collecting 12 bags of rubbish in the space of 2 hours, starting at the i360 to the Brighton Pier.

The sense of community

It was refreshing to see others getting involved in the clean-up. While we were hunched over collecting rubbish, we noticed at least two other groups of high-vis-wearing beach cleaners. Despite the rubbish we were able to find, so much goes unseen but it’s clear there’s been more community involvement as of late since we noticed less than last year’s clean.

Part of this is most likely due to the silent disco cleaners that descended upon Brighton Beach on Sunday 30 June. They tackled a massive allotment of rubbish that all the sun-goers contributed to over last weekend.

In an excerpt from the article:

“More than 70kg of rubbish has been removed from Brighton beach by volunteers in a silent disco beach-clean.

About 100 people cleared the three-quarter mile stretch between the West and Palace piers between 12:00 BST and 14:00 on Sunday.”

It’s up to the locals, not just the tourists, to embrace the city, seafront, and the wider concern of plastic in our seas, so it’s refreshing to hear groups take a fun stance on cleaning and protecting the sea life of Brighton.

Our commitment

At Harvey John, we’ve always been committed to volunteering and supporting the community we call our home, so are always on the lookout for new ways we can get involved. Stepping away from the computers and phones for a couple of hours, especially after a fun day out celebrating Independence Day, was the perfect way to show how we can give back. Due to what we found today, we felt more informed about the environmental threat of plastic on our shores and seas and how we can make a difference. After a successful morning of cleaning, we’ll be back to the beach this coming Sunday, suited and booted, for Paddle Round the Pier!

Did you know?

  • Approx 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.
  • Plastics consistently make up 60 to 90% of all marine debris studied.
  • Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
  • 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.
  • Recent studies have revealed marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabird species examined.

Source: Surfers Against Sewerage

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