Hayling Island beach clean up by Southern Co-op a success

Picking up a plastic bottle on a Hayling Island beach clean organised by Southern Co-op © Jason Allen / Southern Co-op

Five beaches are being overhauled as part of a series of beach cleans across the south during Co-operatives Fortnight

Hayling Island Beach was given a deep clean as volunteers from Southern Co-op were out in force with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

The Hampshire beach was the third of five to be overhauled as Southern Co-op has planned a series of beach cleans across the south as part of Co-operatives Fortnight.

The national awareness fortnight, aims to show how we can achieve more together than we can in isolation. It highlights how each person’s contribution, however small, helps towards achieving a bigger overall goal and a greater change for good.

Both colleagues and members of Southern Co-op joined in with the beach clean up and scoured the area for disregarded rubbish.

They collected a total of 5.75kg of rubbish.

Gemma Lacey, Director of Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: “We always try and do something during Co-operatives Fortnight which makes a difference in our local community as well as promoting working co-operatively.

“We wanted to get involved in marine conversation and combat issues around plastics. There have been a lot of local concerns about rubbish along our shore lines so we thought this opportunity was perfect.

“It was a hot day but everyone battled on and collected everything from cigarette butts and fast food containers to sweet packets and plastic bags. There was even a fishing net left behind and old pottery.

“We encourage our colleagues to volunteer throughout the year and are very proud of everyone who took part this fortnight to make a difference to our local beach. We will also continue to raise awareness of the need to responsibly use and dispose of plastic items which will help to keep our beaches clean in the future.”

Picking up a plastic bottle on a Hayling Island beach clean organised by Southern Co-op

Picking up a plastic bottle on a Hayling Island beach clean organised by Southern Co-op © Jason Allen / Southern Co-op

Action on plastics and litter

Globally some 8 million tons of plastic rubbish ends up in the ocean every year, often choking or killing animals like fish, dolphins, and birds as it is mistaken for food or entangles them. Read more on our work to reduce plastic litter on land, in our rivers and at sea

Read more

Through partnerships with The Wildlife Trusts and CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) Hampshire, Southern Co-op is creating opportunities for colleagues and members to get actively involved in protecting and promoting our local wildlife and countryside.

Wildlife Trusts across the south have been a key partner for Southern Co-op over the last ten years to help families get outside and explore their local wild neighbourhoods, including through the My Wild Neighbourhood campaign.

Steph Watson, Fundraising Officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “We had a fantastic time on Hayling seafront, everyone put in a great effort, especially considering the heat.

“Clearly the best way to help the environment more widely would be to reduce the amount of plastics and other waste getting out there, that said it is a great feeling to help to clean up a small corner of the coastline and a real eye opener as to where all the rubbish comes from.”