As part of our internship at the centre we have to plan, advertise and then run our own, original events. I chose to focus my event around informing people about marine plastic pollution, the dangers associated with it, and how we can help to reduce it.
The planning of what to offer within this event started back in early July with a vague idea about plastic, some kind of craft and engaging facts.
From the moment of deciding to focus on just plastic pollution, I have been collecting plastic from the beach on my way home. I would try to do a two minute beach clean/plastic hunt, every morning of evening. Although admittedly towards the end of July when the centres events got more busy, and I got more tired, this routine definitely got dropped. Despite this there was more than enough plastic on the day, filling two large trays.
I wanted to incorporate some of the plastic I found into several different activities that members of the public could do at the centre. I decided upon an Un-Nature Trail, where the trail was a section of strandline I created just outside the centre. People could walk along the trail and count how many un-natural, or man made objects there were.
I also used a centre resource, the noprescriptionusa.com Rubbish Timeline. This is a rope timeline, illustrating how long it takes various pieces of rubbish to break down in the ocean.
I found some of the decomposition times very shocking. I think the most surprising for me was orange peel and banana skin, which can take up to 5 years to break down. As well as a plastic bag floating on the surface, 1000 years, and a glass bottle, which NEVER breaks down fully. Its astonishing to think that and glass in the sea will be there forever.
There were also facts about plastic pollution dotted around the centre, along with tips to help people reduce their plastic waste, and what they can do to help their local marine environment.
The final activity I planned was a mural that members of the public could contribute to with the plastic that I had collected from the beach.
On the right was our happy little Common Blenny at the start of the day, and as time went on he got more and more colourful.
I loved how people added their bit of plastic to the blenny. We had all ages adding to the collage.
At the end of the day lots of people had passed through the centre and had looked at my facts and rubbish timeline. I hope that I managed to make people think about the plastic they use and what happens to it when its thrown away.
Me, Steph and Kieran had fun adding to the plastic blenny as well.
See you at my next plastic pollution information day (21/08/15) ….