A few weeks ago Nun’s Cross signed up with The National Spring Clean and we received some bin bags, gloves and hi-vis vests. Today 5th and 6th class, along with some of their teachers, took part in a beach clean up along a 5km stretch from Killoughter to Wicklow Town. Our aim was to help improve our environment and protect the wildlife in the area from being harmed by litter making its way into their habitats.
Our access to the beach ended up being off road so we warmed our legs up with a nice long walk before beginning our task.
We set ourselves up into groups and we set off along the beach equipped with litter pickers, bin bags and tally charts to catalogue all the litter we collected.
We worked hard and unfortunately we found lots of things to be collected – mainly plastics, which are not biodegradable and can have devastating effects on sea life! We collected as much as we could, although some of our bags got full and others gave way to the heavy load!
We left a huge pile of rubbish for the County Council to collect, but this is all rubbish that will not end up in the sea or in the mouths of wildlife!
The owners at The Brass Fox very kindly allowed us to use their toilets and wash our hands before we had a picnic lunch on the green outside their premises. And they went one step further and treated all the children to hot chocolate to reward them for their efforts. We all agreed that is was the nicest hot chocolate we have ever had! Huge thanks to the Brass Fox for ending our day on such a positive note, a whole community working together to make our planet cleaner for all!
After our litter pick, and using our tally sheets, we categorised everything we collected into a variety of material types and then analysed our results.
Our most common material, by far, was plastic. We found some odd materials too like spray paint cans, barbecue grills and a large door hinge. We found that all of our waste was collected on the Killoughter end of the beach, with very little waste being found towards the Murrough end of the stretch. We concluded that this is likely to be because, even though the Wicklow end of the beach has much heavier people traffic, it also has more people looking after it through the likes of The Tidy Towns Committee and kind hearted local residents and has bins for people to dispose of their rubbish. We also spoke about how litter can travel down the length of the beach and would have much less of a chance of being collected and disposed of correctly due to the lack of people that far down the beach and lack of bins for litter to be disposed of correctly.
We are delighted to see all that we collected and think about how we have helped to prevent it ending up in the oceans and harming wildlife