Wednesday 29th July saw the return of our beach clean collaborations with the amazing environmental organisation that is Plastic Patrol. Each month, we host a litter-picking paddleboard experience to offer people in our community the opportunity to try Stand Up Paddleboarding, as well as taking the time to look after our beautiful beach home here in Falmouth.

At wesup. we are all passionate about looking after our planet and interacting with the coast in the most sustainable way possible, but no-one more so than instructor Josh! Any questions about local marine life – or anything to do with dolphins – and he’s your man. During our July Plastic Patrol event, Josh took a group of first-time paddle boarders and dedicated club wesup. members out to clear the waters here at Gyllyngvase Beach. As well as an hour of on-the-water collection time, we always plan our Plastic Patrol events for low tide so that we can scour the rockpools as well, as this is where we tend to find most of the rubbish.

paddleboarding in falmouth
Our resident marine biologist Josh leads the Plastic Patrol beach clean on Gylly Beach, Falmouth

Once we’ve finished the beach clean, we categorise and record each piece of litter using the Plastic Patrol app – helping with their mission to identify global pollution trends and hold plastic-producing brands accountable. Using the people power of volunteers giving their free time, Plastic Patrol are gradually raising the profile of one of the biggest issues facing our coastal environments:

“Our annual report published at the start of 2019 reached all the way to the government as well as eight of the UK’s top polluting brands, who we are in continuous dialogue with. The contributions to our research made through the Plastic Patrol app have been crucial in giving us the platform needed to affect change at the highest possible level.” PP

Small, regular actions like beach cleans, combined with constant conversation on social media (tag your pictures under #PlasticPatrol) all help to keep our local coastline clean, as well as contributing to the global fight against pollution and single-use plastic production on a mass scale. Last time we logged at least 57 pieces of soft plastic, plus 10 of hard plastic – and that’s before you count the tent pegs, glass bottles, floating shoes and pieces of fishing line and rope.

Plastic Patrol beach cleans are sponsored by REN skincare…

If you’d like to join our next paddle and beach clean on Monday 24th August, you can book here. It’s free to attend and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never paddleboarded before because you’ll be shown all the basics by a qualified instructor before you go on the water. All equipment is provided so all you need to do is turn up ready to get stuck in for an hour on the boards, followed by a quick sweep of the beach.

Luckily we don’t get too much litter here on the golden sands of Gylly (and Cornwall Council do have a staff member who cleans every morning in the summer – do say hello to him if you’re out early!) so the advantage of accessing the harder-to-reach places via the water really comes into play when we’re on our paddleboards. Often the litter from further out at sea gets caught on the reefs that extend either side of our beach.

All litter picks this summer will be appropriately distanced with gloves and antibac gel readily available as we collect and log our finds. It feels even more important to carry on doing our bit in this crazy time when single-use masks and takeaway cups have sadly made a big comeback during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’d like to try paddleboarding whilst also meeting new people with a common concern for our gorgeous local environment, we’d love to meet you!

See you on the water!

Love, team wesup. X

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