Beach Clean Up – How to Get Involved in Cleaning the Coast

beach clean up

ViaBeach was founded and inspired by the beautiful beaches of Brazil. We now spread our toes in the sand in South Africa, where there are beautiful beaches all along the African coastline. ViaBeach is passionate about our local beaches, which is why we know how important a beach clean up is to take care of them.

Unfortunately, beaches worldwide become polluted with litter, plastic, glass and more. Humans are solely responsible for this pollution, and therefore, it’s our job to clean it up.

This pollution is not only spoiling the beauty of our oceans. But it can be exceptionally dangerous to the stunning marine life that calls the oceans their home.

While most of us would never consider littering on the beach, not everyone shares the same outlook. If you want to help keep our beaches clean, this post is for you.

What is a Beach Clean Up?

Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach? With rolling waves, salty seas and golden sand, beaches are one of the most magnificent places on earth.

But nothing spoils a trip to the beach more than litter coating the coastline.

Dodging broken glass, plastic bottles and even hazardous waste can ruin any vacation. Having to wear shoes instead of feeling the sand between your toes (even if they’re stylish black sandals) really defeats the purpose of a beach trip.

Beach clean ups have gained popularity all over the world. With more and more people realising the importance of protecting the earth and the impact an individual can have.

Plastic beaches are one of the world’s most preventable problems. Taking a day out of your busy schedule has the potential to make a meaningful impact.

Our oceans can’t clean themselves, so volunteers that can help pick up trash make a big difference.

cleaning beaches

How to Clean the Beach

So you’ve decided you want to help save our oceans and keep the beach safe. Great, but where do you start?

Luckily you’re not alone in wanting to clean up our beaches. There are plenty of other humans who are determined to keep our coast looking the way it is meant to.

To get involved in beach cleaning, you can volunteer with a beach clean up organisation. Or put together your own beach clean up.

How to Become a Beach Clean Up Volunteer

Becoming a volunteer beach cleaner isn’t too hard. Just find an organisation and an event near you. If there isn’t an event near you or you’ve identified a beach that is in desperate need of a cleaning, we’ve also got some tips on creating your own beach clean up event.

Local Beach Clean Up Organisations to Follow

If you’re in South Africa, have a look at some of the following local beach clean up organisations where you can volunteer your time. Whether you’re looking to pick up litter on Cape Town Beaches or along the Durban coastline.

You can also participate in International Coastal Clean-Up Day, which occurs annually on the third Saturday of September.

  • Save a Fishie,
  • Cape Town Beach Cleanup
  • Coastal Ghost
  • Trash Bash Beach Clean Up
  • Clean C
  • The Beach Co-Op

You can also follow brands, like Consol, that sponsor the cleanups to keep up to date with current beach cleaning events.

Tools Needed

Before you go to a beach clean up, make sure you bring the following. Some events will have these supplies ready, but rather bring your own, just to be safe.

  • Hand sanitiser
  • First aid kit
  • Trash bags
  • Wet wipes
  • Bottles of water
  • Some snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • A hat
  • Garden gloves/ work gloves
  • Bug spray
  • Beach shoes
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • A camera for taking pictures

Plan Your Own Beach Clean Up

Want to plan your own beach cleanup? Here are a few tips for getting you started.

  1. Pick a beach in need of some TLC and make sure it’s accessible.
  2. Make sure you get permission from the necessary authorities.
  3. Organise someone to be in charge. You’ll need someone organised to do all the preparation for a beach cleaning.
  4. Get familiar with the beach because you’ll need to know where you want to set everything up. Make sure there’s a nearby bathroom and figure out what you’ll need to bring with you.
  5. Choose the areas you want to clean. Depending on the size of the beach, you likely won’t be able to tackle the whole area in one go. Select which areas you want to clean on the day.
  6. Arrange supplies for the cleaning. You’ll need garbage bags, gloves, hand sanitiser and hand wipes. You’ll also need to make sure you have water, sunscreen and bug repellent on hand.
  7. Make sure you have a first aid kit. You’ll need to be prepared for possible cuts, scrapes, sunburn, and even heat stroke when picking up rubbish on the beach.
  8. Sort out your recyclables. You’ll likely encounter glass and plastic on the beach, so you’ll need to determine how to sort and deal with recyclable material in advance. It might be worth contacting local organisations to figure out the collection.
  9. Partner up. A beach clean up is no small thing so don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Local businesses will likely be happy to donate items or even sponsor the event.
  10. Make a plan for dealing with hazardous waste like medical or sewage waste.
  11. Find volunteers, whether they’re friends, family or fellow ocean enthusiasts. You can use Facebook to create an event and ask your friends to share it far and wide.
  12. Don’t forget to take photos of your beach litter picking event and post them online. This way, you’ll raise awareness and hopefully show people how vital beach cleaning is.

rubbish on beach

Keeping Beaches Clean

Nobody likes a dirty beach, least of all the local animals. Not only is beach pollution an eyesore, but it’s also dangerous for marine life.

This means it’s our job to keep the beach clean and prevent ending up with plastic beaches.

Have you participated in a beach clean up? Let us know in the comments.

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