World Animal Day - a special opportunity for everyone who cares about animals
Help us protect marine species against plastic pollution!
Let's focus on how we can protect the beautiful marine animals who call our oceans home.
Many of us have seen the awful figures on just how polluted our oceans have become, largely due to our addiction to the convenience of single-use plastics.
The problem has become so vast that our oceans currently hold over 150 million tonnes of plastic waste.
By 2025, it is expected that there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish!
If we continue at this rate, by 2050, there will be MORE plastic than fish!*
On a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to become desensitized to the amount of plastic we use.
We can also feel powerless when bombarded with numbers, making it difficult to imagine what this means for the individual animals calling our oceans home.
But it’s important to remember that you can help!
We’re calling on YOU to organise or participate in a beach clean for World Animal Day!
Beach cleans are an amazing way to clean up the coastline and remove harmful plastic from the paths of thousands of marine species. They can also help us to:
- Reconnect with nature
- Spend time with likeminded people who also care about animals and the planet
- Get us outside and moving!
Every piece of plastic counts
Although the problem is vast, it’s important to remember that every piece of plastic you see on a beach is a potential hazard for a sea animal, so every piece you manage to take away could potentially save a life.
By viewing our actions like this, it’s easy to see the positive impacts of our beach cleaning immediately, the more we collect, the more we help (and feel great!).
How do I organise a beach clean?
Organising a beach clean is easy! Follow these 5 simple steps to create your event:
1. Gather your volunteers
Contact family members and friends, or message a local Facebook group or community group to get some willing volunteers together.
It’s up to you how many people you would like to get involved, even a single person’s efforts have a significant impact, so you could go solo! But the more people you get on board, the more hands you have to collect up the rubbish.
2. Pick your beach
Choose a beach which has a plastic problem and is accessible to your team.
You can also contact the local authorities to let them know of your plan, which may get you more volunteers to add to your team.
If you don’t have a beach to go to, lakes, rivers and streams also face similar issues with plastic pollution, assess if there is another water source you could clean safely.
3. Spread the word!
Let others know about your event and inspire people to get involved at their local beaches by posting on social media, and of course, registering your event on the World Animal Day website.
When you upload your event to the World Animal Day website, you can request a FREE 5 x 7 World Animal Day flag!
4. Gear up and clear up
Arm yourself with plenty of bags and biodegradable gloves, also make sure to bring a first aid kit to deal with any accidents (rubbish and slippery rocks can be sharp). Also, think about how you will transport the rubbish off the beach and into a safe disposal area where it won’t inadvertently make its way back to the sea.
5. Have fun!
Any day on the beach is a fun day! What’s even better is that you’ll be surrounded by people who share your values of saving marine animals and caring for our planet.
Reduce your single-use plastic
Finally, another way you can help ocean animals is to reduce your single-use plastic intake.
By stopping the demand for plastic as consumers, we can send a clear message to companies that we want alternatives.
Try using re-useable containers, cutlery, your own water bottle, and if you can - use refill stations when buying foods like pasta, rice, beans and coffee. Remember, every piece of plastic counts!
Together, we can help the ocean become a safer place for marine wildlife!
Register to add your beach cleaning event to the website... or find one happening near you!
Thank you for supporting World Animal Day.
*Reference: Pennington, J. (2016) ‘Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. This has to stop’, World Economic Forum, (Accessible here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/every-minute-one-garbage-truck-of-plastic-is-dumped-into-our-oceans/)
- May 6, 2021