Clean Coasts and Cully and Sully, who supported the Big Beach Clean, hosted a beach clean event in Schull, where volunteers removed 40kg of marine litter.

Huge beach clean-up effort in Cork

The Big Beach Clean returned this year over the weekend in 80 different locations in Cork alone

The Big Beach Clean is an annual call to action that takes place in September at the end of the bathing season. Volunteers around Ireland were asked to register their clean up event and take part in a worldwide citizen science project, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy.

This year, a record number of over 400 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed 42 tonnes of litter across the country.

In county Cork, volunteers removed almost seven tonnes of litter over the weekend. Clean Coasts also hosted a Big Beach Clean event at Garryvoe Beach on Saturday, where 20 volunteers removed an additional 30kg of marine litter.

Finally, Cully and Sully, who supported the Big Beach Clean again this year, joined us for a beach clean on Schull, where thanks to the involvement of 140 participants, managed to collect another 40kg of litter.

Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager, said: “After a break in 2020 due to Covid, we were excited to host the Big Beach Clean again, but we didn’t know what to expect. This year there was a significant increase in clean-ups organised, but in a different format: we saw more people registering for clean-ups as individuals or within their household.”

Sinead continued: “This year, there was an over five per cent decrease in litter found across Ireland. Overall this is an incredible improvement. The work that Irish volunteers do all year round to tackle litter and less waste dropped by more conscious beach users mean that we are heading in the right direction!”

Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities.