In association with Coca-Cola, Charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is launching the Big Beach Clean weekend, which will run from Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September. The project aims to encourage volunteers from across Northern Ireland to get their litter pickers out and join in the crusade to keep Northern Ireland beautiful.
Over 150 Coca-Cola employees took time out of their busy work schedules on Friday to help clean-up the coastline at six beach locations around the island, including Portavogie and Magilligan. The volunteering initiative, which took place ahead of next weekend’s official Big Beach Clean event, is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to achieve a world without waste. An outstanding 213 bags, estimated at just over 1.5 tonnes of litter was removed from the coast over the course of the day thanks to the trojan effort of Coca-Cola volunteers.
Northern Ireland has over 200 kilometres of coastline where volunteers can choose to either set up their own events or join organised clean ups – all the information you need, plus a handy kit, is available via www.liveherelovehere.org.
As part of the clean-up, volunteers are asked to record the litter collected using Ocean Conservancy data cards which will feed into the Ocean Conservancy annual report – helping improve the environment for our rich variety of ocean dwelling creatures, some of which are internationally recognised.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has 385 volunteers across 20 Adopted Spots – where volunteers have actually gone a step further and taken ownership of a designated area in their local community to look after and improve for everyone to enjoy as part of the Live Here Love Here ‘Adopt a Spot’ programme.
Last year’s Big Beach Clean saw more 304 volunteers take part in Northern Ireland during Big Beach Clean Weekend and collected 803kg of waste. The Live Here Love Here team are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year after the recent success of their Big Spring Clean project - which doubled its results in just one year to 127,864 volunteers cleaning up at 3,868 events, lifting 43,447 bags of litter - that’s 263 tonnes.
Jodie McAneaney Live Here Love Here Manager comments:
Big Beach Clean is the ideal opportunity for us to hit the beach and clean up any litter left over from the summer. I think sometimes we take for granted our beautiful coastline here in Northern Ireland but it needs to be protected so that we can enjoy it year on year and preserve the environment for future generations.
With winter coming the beaches come into their own on a completely different level – they are a haven for walkers and winter sports plus the flow of tourists visiting the natural heritage sites and Games of Thrones sets means the coastline is in constant use all year round – an asset we need to look after.”
In 2018 there were 2.8 million overnight trips from visitors to Northern Ireland and 128 cruise ships – double the number from the previous year. Over the past five years trips and spend have been the highest estimates on record.*
Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) Ireland and Northern Ireland:
I’m very proud of our 150 employees from across the Coca-Cola system who have taken to beaches across Ireland and Northern Ireland to launch the Big Beach Clean. Clearing beaches of unwanted litter not only benefits the marine environment but will hopefully inspire others across the island to do the same in the coming weekend.
Our participation in the Big Beach Clean is part of our efforts to help create a world without waste. We recognise that with our market-leading brands comes a responsibility to help tackle the issue of waste at its source. That is why, in addition to this volunteering initiative, we recently invested in recycled plastic in order to eliminate 2,000 tonnes of virgin plastic from circulation annually.”
Coca-Cola’s global sustainable strategy, World Without Waste, aims to design more sustainable packaging and collect the equivalent of every bottle and can it sells by 2030.
Other local businesses and volunteers who supported the launch clean up on were; DAERA, Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, CDEnviro, NI Water and Alexander Mann Solutions.
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For more information about Coca-Cola’s commitment to creating a World Without Waste, visit https://ie.coca-colahellenic.com | www.coca-cola.ie.