The clean was organised in collaboration with the all-female crew of eXXpedition, who are currently sailing around Britain carrying out scientific testing and running events highlighting the toxics in our bodies and the plastics in our seas, and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s ‘Wild About Scotland’ Bus.
Live coverage of the event was provided by Sky News, who also brought along the 10m Plastic Whale that represents Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign. This whale is made from the same amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean every second. Sky are taking the whale across the country to inspire people to take action to stop plastic polluting the UK’s seas.
Mr Beattie and the other beach cleaners were joined by local groups including those from Musselburgh Burgh Primary and East Lothian Council, as well as national campaigners such Greenpeace and Surfers Against Sewage.
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, commented:
‘This was a highly enlightening and thought-provoking event and I was delighted to have the chance to help out.
‘The amount of plastic being dumped in our oceans is staggering beyond belief. The impact is widespread, from the amount of damage we are doing to natural sealife and our beaches, and ultimately polluting the very seafood we eat.
‘I give my sincere thanks to all who helped organise this campaign and to those who came along on the day.
‘We have a chance to turn the pollution situation around – but we must all take action now.’
Catherine Gemmell, Scotland Conservation Officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said:
'It was fantastic to be joined on the beach this morning by Colin Beattie MSP to help support our Beachwatch Project and meet members of the crew from the Exxpedition team and the Wild About Scotland Bus.
‘We hope that everyone will be able to join us back out on a beach near them in September for our Great British Beach Clean!'
For more on the various campaigns please see the websites below:
The Marine Conservation Society - www.mcsuk.org
eXXpedition - http://exxpedition.com/
Sky Ocean Rescue - https://skyoceanrescue.com/