Christmas and New Year Clean-Ups at Tragumna

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Just before the Christmas beak we manged to get out on the beaches with Transition Year students from Skibbereen Community School.

We met at Tragumna beach and gave the area a thorough cleaning. We recorded everything that was collected as can be seen in the photos here. The collected plastics will be used by the students for their art projects.

All the work was carried out with masks being worn by everyone and the rules of social distancing were all observed. Overall, 11 bags of ocean plastic waste were collected from the beaches of Tragumna, West Cork.

Students identifying causes of pollution on West Cork’s beaches

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SECONDARY school students are actively working on an Oceans Plastic Project to identify the causes of the pollution littering West Cork’s beaches.

The Oceans Plastic Project was formed in 2018 by Rory Jackson, an environmental campaigner who lives at Tragumna outside Skibbereen.

Living on the coast, he said he would see organisations doing a major clean-up operation only to find the coastline littered again after the next high tide.

‘There isn’t a beach in the country without plastic on it,’ said Rory, who admits he is alarmed by the year-on-year increase in volume of plastic waste.

He said he set up the project to research the type of plastic being washed up on our beaches, and to establish from where it is coming.

In setting the Oceans Plastic Project up as a non-profit company, Rory had the vision of securing funding so he could develop the project’s educational capacity.

Read more at The Southern Star

Oceans Plastic Schools Project

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The project involves collecting all kinds of data from micro plastics to larger more upcycled plastic, also including water samples from freshwater streams and building up a knowledge base of the worst affected areas, and coastal changes due to erosion and climate change.

Some of the plastics collected is being used for art projects and upcycling ideas and have been part of the Junk Cotutor competition where the students design and make clothing from thrown away rubbish.

Projects can also be entered into the yearly National Young Scientist Competition.

The students also are encouraged to look at new ways to reduce plastic use in our daily lives and develop possible business options which could be commercially become viable.

Collecting the plastic recycling, upcycling using the waste in art and design project in the schools and potentially inventing new products to deal and manage the plastics to prevent them from entering the marine environment particularly in the commercial sector which is proving to the worst of the material found washed up on the shores.

A new development is that we are going to research the micro plastic waste in the seas prior to it reaching the shores to assess the levels floating off the coast in 2021

The aims of the project are teaching marine knowledge as well as building up a picture and monitoring of the scale of the plastic waste in our seas and reaching our shores.

Trashed (film) – 20 Minute excerpt – narrated by Jeremy Irons

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Trashed is an environmental documentary film, written and directed by British film-maker Candida Brady. It follows actor Jeremy Irons as he investigates the global scale and impact of humanity’s modern wasteful consumerism and pollution.The film is a call for urgent action to resolve the issue of existing deposits and drastically reduce our consumption towards sustainable levels and zero waste, but also demonstrates how this is already being achieved successfully in many communities around the world.