Updated: Jul 1
Nellie the recycling fish is arriving in Bournemouth on Wednesday 1st July! Throughout July she will be staying in Bournemouth Pier Approach, adjacent to Tourist Information Centre and helping collect all our plastic bottles and aluminum cans to recycle effectively. But more importantly she is here to teach us to make less rubbish by reusing and not throwing away. Because as Nellie says – there is NO AWAY! Putting our rubbish in the bin is a start but it doesn’t get rid of our massive rubbish problem.
On behalf of all her ocean friends, Nellie is asking us to help make the sea a safer place so that less of her friends and their families get harmed through swallowing or getting tangled in our rubbish. Littering is a huge problem. In fact, it’s a really rubbish problem. Especially when it’s not disposed of responsibly. We know we create rubbish and that it can’t all be recycled, but did you know that out of all “recyclable” plastic ever made, only 9% has been recycled, and most plastic can only be recycled 2-3 times before it has to be thrown away. That means that most plastic ends up in landfill (where it can blow away ending up in our countryside, rivers and oceans) or is burned, releasing CO2.
So, here’s Nellie’s top tips:-
· Leave only footprints – before you pack up and go home – have a quick check around the beach to make sure you’ve picked up everything you bought with you to the beach – don’t forget that plastic toys left on the sand end up in the sea – break up into micro plastic and get mistaken for food by marine life and sea birds – Nellie has sadly lost many friends in this way
· Always carry your own reusable water bottle and cup. There are plenty of refill points (taps!) of lovely fresh drinking water all along the Bournemouth beachfront. Bring your own re-usable drinking bottles – save our sea life and save money too!
· Bring your own re-useable food containers, cutlery and even ashtrays if you’re a smoker! Trillions of cigarette butts are thrown into the environment every year, where they leach nicotine and heavy metals before turning into microplastic pollution.
· If beach bins are full – take your rubbish home and dispose of it safely. Nellie’s friends the cheeky seagulls and foxes get up to mischief at night and spread the contents of bags left next to bins - making a right mess which our poor beach cleaners have to pick up in the morning. Help our key workers by taking excess rubbish home.
BCP Council are also running a competition for local children to get involved in creating posters and signs to highlight and educate about littering and the harm it can have on our community and wildlife. The winning entries will be turned into signs and displayed locally. You can enter the competition here: https://www.bournemouth.co.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/leave-only-footprints
The Final Straw Solent are letting Nellie help us this July but then she has to go back home. If you think we should have our very own recycling fish for our beaches email BCP with heading “We want a recycling fish for BCP” and put your suggested name for our fish in the email.
Find out more about being a waste warrior and not a waste worrier here at: https://www.bournemouth.co.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/leave-only-footprints.