At the Plastic Project we are, and have been for a while, firm believers in all kinds of citizen science; getting the masses out there and recording what is really going on in the world.
We are doing this with our global dispatches, where we are getting surfers, filmmakers and photographers to record their surroundings rubbish-wise on a regular basis and sending us short videos back. This evidence we can then feed directly into our educational programme, constantly revitalising what we can offer. Other projects like the 2 minute beach clean have also been incredibly successful in the same way, activating the crowd to do their bit, no matter how small. Now we’re launching a new campaign so schools, colleges and everyday people can go to their local beach or riverbank, and record exactly what they are finding in one square metre of sand/gravel/rock/mud plastic wise.
It’s a simple concept; we are going to be leading the way by sampling randomly one of the most famous stretches of sand in the world in south west France for the whole winter. The launching point, and the constant is going to be based around Hossegor. Why? Well for one it is internationally known as one of the greatest beach breaks on Earth, and secondly because we have a dedicated group of people willing to do it every day from Labenne in the south to La Penon in the north. The concept is simple, pick a random bit of your beach, roughly measure out a square of 1m x 1m and then see what’s in it, collect, take a shot of before and after and send it over. We’ll post them all up, and make them available to schools globally as a resource for them to use to monitor plastic pollution. Plus hopefully it will enable schools to go and do it themselves if possible.
If you’re still not totally sure here is a video of our founder Tim Nunn doing the first one in France a couple of weeks ago. Plus we’ll be putting up different techniques for sieving and sorting the rubbish and shooting the finds.
The beaches in France are better known for their pristine barrels. Sadly, however, they are also a collecting point for rubbish. This is going to show Europe what’s really going on along our beaches. In so many of the talks we do audience members just say it’s an Asian issue, well it isn’t, and here comes the proof.