Exeter School pupils help turn tide on litter

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Authored by Exeter School
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 6:25am

Pupils from Exeter School have been busy tackling the problem of marine litter on our beaches by taking part in a Beach Clean event organised by STC Expeditions – an ethical school expedition company based in Exeter.

The Beach Clean took place on Saturday 9th March 2019 and was organised as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) national Beachwatch project.  The data will help MCS identify the main sources of litter at Dawlish Warren and keep the issue of the dangers of marine litter high on the local agenda.

The group of Year 11 and 12 pupils from Exeter School collected a total of eight bin bags, with the top items found on the day identified as nets from commercial shipping vessels and pieces of microplastics and polystyrene. Other items of note included a tyre and a variety of metal wire.

Exeter School Biology teacher, Miss Jade Booth, says: “Thank you to STC Expeditions for arranging this event. It was extremely useful for our pupils to experience first-hand how pollution affects the environment. The sheer volume of litter we found, particularly the amount of micro plastics, was quite shocking. We also found a crab entangled in fishing wire, which luckily we managed to save. The pupils worked effectively as a team, helping each other to pick up some disgusting litter as well as filling in the survey for the Marine Conservation Society.  It was great preparation for the beach cleaning we will carry out whilst on expedition in Borneo, and it clearly helped the pupils to bond together as a group. We are lucky enough to run major co-educational expeditions on a biennial basis and can’t wait to explore the diversity of the eco-systems in Borneo. As a school we are continually looking at green initiatives, such as stopping single use plastics; this sort of event definitely underlines the need for us to consider the environment more and more.”

Adrian Ferraro from STC Expeditions adds: “Organising events such as this is really important to us as it fits in with our ethos as a responsible schools’ tour operator. Many of our overseas trips involve beach clean ups and we thought what better way to show our commitment to the environment than by starting at home. Beach litter isn’t just unsightly, it can also be very dangerous to both humans and wildlife. We are very grateful to Exeter School for coming along to support us with this project and for showing such enthusiasm and commitment.”

For more information on the MCS Beach Survey, please visitwww.mcsuk.org/beachwatch