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6 June 2017

Take two minutes to keep the beach clean

Every summer thousands of visitors flock to Brighton & Hove, with many heading to the beach to make the most of the sunshine.

But sadly, after enjoying a day on the beach, many choose to leave their rubbish behind, presenting the council with a mammoth task. After a sunny weekend it’s not unusual for several tonnes of rubbish to be left strewn across the city’s beaches.

Beach litter is an ongoing problem for the city and costs the council thousands of pounds in cleaning costs.

But what if beachgoers took a couple of minutes out of their day to pick up rubbish? The difference could be dramatic.

With this in mind, Brighton & Hove City Council’s Seafront Team has joined the #2minutebeachclean campaign, alongside several local businesses. The initiative was launched on 5 June to mark World Environment Day.

The #2minutebeachclean is a simple campaign to provide beachgoers with the opportunity to ‘do their bit’ for the beach they love, encouraging them to spend two minutes picking up litter before beginning their journey home.

People taking part are encouraged to take photos of them cleaning the beach and upload them to the social media sites using the hashtag #2minutebeachclean, increasing awareness of the fate of the beaches and oceans.

Seafront Officer Charles Branson explained why he was keen to launch the project in Brighton & Hove: “Growing up on the beaches of Cornwall, I have had it instilled in me to care for the coastal environment, and I find it quite upsetting to see the state the beaches of Brighton & Hove after a sunny weekend.

“The city has so many passionate, environmentally conscious local people but sadly there are many more who aren’t so diligent and are unaware of the potential harm to other beach users, marine wildlife and the environment.

“We hope #2minutebeachclean may go some way in reducing the impact of our annual summer beach litter crisis and that we as a city can provide more stations as the summer progresses.”

Join the #2minutebeachclean

Four distinctive #2minutebeachclean A-boards have been placed along the busy seafront, with local businesses as official ‘guardians’.

The stations hold several litter pickers for public use and a supply of standard reused supermarket plastic bags which can be dropped into any council waste bins.

You can find them at 

  • The Seafront Office
  • The World Cetacean Alliance (just east of the Palace Pier)
  • Molly’s Coffee shop at Rottingdean Beach
  • British Airways i360

​Three of the A-boards on the seafront have been funded in a joint initiative by the council, Surfers Against Sewage and local sustainable design studio Claire Potter Design. The fourth guardian of a #2minutebeachclean board is British Airways i360, where staff are keen to encourage people to keep the beach tidy.

A British Airways i360 spokesperson said: “We are proud to be joining forces with other seafront businesses to participate in the #2minutebeachclean campaign, as part of our shared ambition to care for the natural landscape around us.”

About the campaign

The #2minutebeachclean campaign was founded in 2014 by writer, surfer and beach lover Martin Dorey who lives in Bude, Cornwall. “After 20 years living in the South West of the UK I was able to see just how bad the marine litter problem is becoming,” says Martin.

“I wanted to do something to make a genuine difference and hoped that the #2minutebeachclean might inspire others to join environmental groups, join in with organised cleans and make beach cleaning part of their daily routine.”

The first beach clean station was set up at Crooklets beach in Bude. Since then more than 200 beach clean stations have been set up across the UK and Ireland.

Local businesses interested in becoming a guardian or sponsoring a #2minutebeachclean station can contact Charles at the Seafront Office on 01273 292716.

For more information about the #2minutebeachclean campaign, visit www.beachclean.net

Please also take a look at plasticfreepledge.com, an initiative launched by Claire Potter Design, for businesses in the city to reduce reliance on single use plastics, supported by the Seafront Office.