A charity in Dorset are highlighting the importance of keeping beaches clean and making better choices with plastic use.
Clean Jurassic Coast, a charity ran entirely by volunteers, help keep the Jurassic Coast as clean and safe as possible.
The Jurassic Coast is located in Dorset and is the only Natural World Heritage site in England.
It is also the the only place on the planet where evidence from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of history can be found in one area.
Head of the charity Roy Beale explained why beach clean ups are so important.
“The first, most obvious reason, is safety for the people using the beach.
“We find lots of leftover barbecues and fishing hooks, so anyone bare feet or people with their dogs can suffer injuries.
“But also we don’t want it washing into the sea, it is going to have a harmful impact on marine life in the area.”
Clean Jurassic Coast started four years ago as a way of getting everyone together and to work as a community to preserve the natural heritage.
The charity, which relies entirely on donations, are now starting to go into schools to educate primary school children about the climate crisis and the importance of beach cleans.
Roy said: “Last summer we had the use of a boat as a classroom, which was great, so we’re hoping to get back on that again.
“We go for a beach clean with the children, we talk about what we found and the Jurassic Coast.
“We also talk about the climate crisis and the history of plastic, which is quite fascinating.
“The first ever plastic was invented to try and stop the ivory trade, so plastic was invented to save the animals, so it’s done a bit of a U-turn there.”
Roy highlighted the other positive impacts beach cleaning can have on people.
“We like to inspire and we like to get people out on the beaches as well because not only is it good to try and clear all the beaches, it’s really good for people’s mental health.”
Clean Jurassic Coast are urging people to be conscious of the impacts of single-use plastic on the environment.
Roy said: “If we can reduce single-use plastic, then it will have a knock on affects of what we find on our beaches.
“Get a reusable coffee cup, same goes for water bottles, tap water is perfectly safe to drink.”
“If people can just make a small change, even if it’s something simple like a coffee cup, if one person can make a change and influence ten people then before long we have do have a lot of people making a change that collectively makes a big change.”
In the future the charity will be doing more beach cleans and speak to more youth groups.
To find out more about Clean Jurassic Coast visit their website.