Success for the Paddle & Pick Challenge Team Behind ‘Plastic Clever Salcombe’
The mother and daughter team behind Plastic Clever Salcombe successfully paddleboarded the entire Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary in south Devon raising awareness about ocean pollution on 8th and 9th June 2018.
Founder of the Plastic Clever Salcombe campaign Anna Turns and her six-year-old daughter Ella litter picked from their 14ft stand-up paddleboard throughout their 21.5-mile-long journey, up all the creeks of the Kingsbridge-Salcombe estuary. The tough paddle took two days and began on World Ocean’s Day, Friday 8th June at 8.00am, ending on South Sands beach the following day.
More than 1500 litres of rubbish was collected over the two days including: 205 plastic bottles and lids, 20 plastic bags, 12 coffee cups, nine shoes, seven straws, six balls, five balloons, two crabbing buckets, one wooden ladder, one wheel, one My Little Pony, polystyrene and a lot of rope! The duo engaged more than 150 people directly along the route via beach cleans and fellow paddleboarders on the water. Beach cleans by South Devon AONB included school children from Salcombe Primary and West Charleton school.
Plastic Clever co-founder Anna Turns said:
“Our two-day paddle and pick event has connected so many people to the issue of plastic pollution on a local level and really shone a spotlight on where the hotspots for plastic pollution are within our beautiful estuary. Most often, litter accumulates out of sight away from the sandy beaches – under the tideline of trees in the bag for example, or amongst the layers of seaweed at West Charleton marsh.”
“On a personal level it was challenging paddling with very windy conditions on both days but we did it and I am so proud of everyone who joined us and helped along the way. As part of Kids Against Plastic, Plastic Clever Salcombe is determined to reduce single-use plastics at source even further and do as much as we can to help protect our coastline now and in the future.”
“We were so impressed by how enthusiastically the school children took part in the beach cleans and Kids Against Plastic is of course about so much more than just plastic pollution – it’s about engaging the younger generation with our environment and empowering them to make positive, lasting change in the community.”
To celebrate the completion of Pick and Paddle, South Sands Hotel hosted a canapés reception where Salcombe & Tonics and an array of Luscombe drinks were served.
Anna and Ella were joined by various changemakers along the way, including microplastics expert Imogen Napper from Plymouth University and Hannah Amor from the new plastics and sustainability team at Environment Agency SW. Also involved were the founders of Davy J swimwear and Riz Boardshorts, two companies working hard to create a more circular economy by reusing waste fishing nets and recycled plastic bottles to make clothing.
Ella and Anna set up Plastic Clever Salcombe after being so inspired by sisters Amy and Ella Meek who founded Kids Against Plastic with the aim of engaging the younger generation with the issue of plastic pollution. So far Ella Turns has signed up more than 40% of food and drink businesses to the Plastic Clever scheme in Salcombe and she and her mother have been working closely with Salcombe Primary School, festival organisers and local community groups to inspire more people to think responsibly about single-use plastics.
Together Anna and Ella have awarded more than 30 South Devon businesses and two schools with plastic clever certificates and window stickers, once they met required criteria to commit to finding alternatives to the ‘big four’ polluters: coffee cups and lids, plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags.
Meet Anna and Ella at ‘A Plastic Ocean’ film screening on Tuesday 19th June, which is taking place at Cliff House in Salcombe, sponsored by Salcombe Distilling Co.