Nearly 5 tonnes of waste was removed from Galway beaches during the annual ‘Big Beach Clean’ last weekend.
Over 870 residents volunteered at the three-day-event, which took place across the county, as well as nationally, in conjunction with Clean Coasts.
Forty Seven litter-picking events resulted in the retrieval of multiple bin bags containing fishing litter, items of clothing and plastic bottles.
A team from Galway Atlantaquaria’s team in Salthill, took part in the event. Speaking to SIN, Organiser Garry Kendellen said it was not surprising to see nearly 5 tonnes of rubbish retrieved from Galway beaches.
He said: “I believe there is lots more marine litter to be found. We have tried to clean beaches that are very hard to access, and they have never been cleaned. So, while the news is good, especially in high-traffic areas there is a huge problem of marine litter that is hidden from public view.”
The clean-up saw twelve volunteers walk Grattan Beach to pick up abandoned trash to dispose of it correctly. Mr Kendellen said that cigarettes and socks were the most common item found in this specific beach clean.
He said: “We tend to aggregate all litter as plastic. You tend to find a common litter theme in each beach and during different seasons. Every summer we find swimwear and towels.”
The trash found at Grattan Beach features on Ireland’s top 10 items of debris found on Irish beaches in 2021.
The report, compiled by the international Ocean Conservancy organisation, shows that cigarette butts and beverage bottles were some of the most frequently retrieved items across the nation during International Clean Up weekend last year.
Mr Kendellen praised volunteers for helping with the event, saying that they were “very engaged” throughout.
Concluding to SIN, he said there was particular enthusiasm shown when volunteers received their hi-viz vests, and that it was a “great day” throughout.