Why Beach Cleanups Are Worth Doing
The idea of beach cleanups isn’t a new one. The concept is basically to get a bunch of people together, pick up trash at a local beach and make sure it’s clean for wildlife (and looking great for visitors). Here at Pacsafe, we underwent our first beach cleanup in Hong Kong in 2010 and have supported a bunch of others around the globe since. Some critics say that beach cleanups simply tackle the symptom, rather than the cause. That the beaches will just become soiled again over time because of the waste we create every day. There is some sense to that. However, we’ve found there are some amazing benefits to beach cleanups on top of making your local coast look the way it should. That’s why we continue to do cleanups in Hong Kong every year.
Beach cleanups connect you with the problem
We all know intellectually that plastic waste and pollution is a huge issue for the planet. However, often we disconnect in the day-to-day and forget about the impact we’re having. Beach cleanups are a constructive and visceral way to feel that impact first hand. There’s nothing like picking up discarded bottles, seeing the bags pile up and then basking in how good things should really be after the trash is gone. It revives you with purpose to not just do something about the end symptom of the issue, but go back to the source and make better choices to stop pollution from happening in the first place.
Beach cleanups show you how things can be if we work together
The teamwork aspect of beach cleanups is undeniable. You come together to fix something that looks like an impossible task at the start of the day. Yet, at the end you can see the physical results. By working together you figure out how to do things better, bond over the problem and revel in the solution. It’s a microcosm of what needs to happen to fix the global issue. The more we can work together in initiatives like this, the better off we are to take on bigger and bigger challenges.
Beach cleanups show people you care (and helps them realize they should too)
When doing beach cleanups, often locals will see what’s happening at the start of the day, then comment how great things look at the end. Again, that physical connection can help spark off a wider association with how things could be, if we all just made better choices. It’s not uncommon to see people picking up trash for days after a big cleanup so things stay cleaner for longer. This flow on effect is a really important part of beach cleanups. Help be part of the change for good. Spread the word. Help change happen faster.
But, beach cleanups shouldn’t be the only thing you do…
While there are amazing benefits to cleaning up your local beach, if it’s the only thing you do, we won’t see lasting results. At Pacsafe, we also work hard to eliminate virgin plastic in our supply chain, make the best anti-theft bags from recycled waste, and support other conservation projects through the Pacsafe Turtle Fund. The cleanups are a way to physically connect with the problem, show that teamwork matters and help spread the word within the community we all need to help.
What other things are you doing to make your beach more beautiful? Let us know in the comments below.
To check out our Pacsafe Econyl Anti-Theft Bags, made from discarded plastic waste, head here.