It's turning into something. And I, for one, am very very pleased. I was thrilled to see beach litter in the bins at Crooklets beach today that wasn't put there by me. I was thrilled to see tweets with links to pictures of the hauls people had made in their very own #2minutebeachcleans and I was even more excited to talk to two people at the beach yesterday who promised to pick up a few bits and pieces on their way.
But okay, let's not get carried away.
I like the simplicity of the #2minutebeachclean because it's easy and manageable and can be fun. It's also up to the individual so there are no restrictions, insurances, risk assessments or paperwork. This is also where its power lies because the more individuals do it and make it habit, the more we'll get done and will continue to get done.
But....we do have to do the small print from time to time. Yes, so it's onerous and against the spontaneous spirit of a #2minutebeachclean but... I'm damn well going to do it, even though I am not your mother.
So ya boo sucks. Here it is.
Staying safe on your #2minutebeachclean
- If you can, wear protective gloves. If you can't, wash your hands afterwards.
- Supervise your children and make sure they don't pick up sharps or poo.
- DO NOT pick up needles or glass or any other sharps unless you have somewhere safe to put them. Old needles MUST be disposed of properly. Ask your local surgery.
- Do not pick up anything organic that is not beach litter. We're talking dead animals and poo here. Just don't. Better to let the dog roll in it.
- If you find ordnance (old shells or bullets) call the Coastguard on 999.
- If you find what you suspect to be dangerous chemicals or substances, leave them alone and call the Coastguard on 999.
- Dress properly for the weather and conditions.
- Be careful under overhanging cliffs or below unstable areas and be VERY wary of landslips and cliff falls, especially after heavy rain.
- Be careful over wet rocks. Walk on the barnacles as they give better grip.
- If you find anything of value that is technically salvage, you must report it to the Receiver of the Wreck (seriously).
- Please dispose of your finds properly. Plastic bottles that have not been in the sea for long can be recycled. Everything else, currently, must go to landfill, which means you can pop it in a litter bin or put it out with your rubbish.
Finally, have you got your vest on? If you have then please go out there and do your #2minutebeachclean with my blessing and grateful thanks. Just take care and be sensible. Don't let HSE put you off doing something great for your local environment. Every bottle removed from the beach is a bottle that won't end up in the food chain, killing a marine animal or polluting the ocean.