Put on your crowns and grab your best litter-picking gloves, everyone, we’re about to have a king-size impact on reducing the estimated 8 million pieces of plastic waste entering our oceans each day with a big beach clean up.
With the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend approaching faster than a corgi chasing a tennis ball, we’re calling on anyone who can, to roll up their sleeves and take part in the ‘The Big Help Out’. And what better way to do that than by participating in local beach cleans or litter picks for the National Day of Volunteering on May 8th?
To get started, all you need is a can-do attitude, a passion for improving our environment, and some of the tips and ideas we’ve put together below. Oh, and your crown and best litter-picking gloves, but you’ve already got those ready, haven’t you – you planet-protecting machine, you!
What is ‘The Big Help Out?’
The Big Help Out is all about getting stuck in and making a difference in your local area. It takes place as part of the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend on the 8th of May and encourages people to volunteer for their favourite causes. Helping out at a local food bank, supporting a community garden or getting involved with a charity, simply volunteering for anything you feel passionately about counts.
And the hope is, that by raising awareness of volunteering, more people will catch the volunteering bug – spreading that warm fuzzy feeling you get from giving back to your community well beyond the weekend.
Why take part in litter picks for ‘The Big Help Out’?
The world produces 400 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. 400 million tonnes! And according to studies, the ocean is now home to over five TRILLION pieces of plastic, and 24 TRILLION microplastics.
A lot of the time, we just see the stuff that washes up on our beaches, and the rest sinks to the ocean floor where it wreaks havoc on marine animals and ecosystems. So, it’s difficult to imagine these staggeringly high numbers unless you’re handy with a snorkel and flippers.
All is not lost at sea, though! We need to stop plastic waste in its tracks to tackle this problem. First, by erasing plastic from existence – hello, Modern Milkround users! 72 million plastic bottles prevented from polluting our planet and counting. But also, by averting plastic waste from entering our waterways to begin with and removing it when it does. Enter our eco-friendly favourite activity – the litter pick.
Where to start?
- – Bickerstaffe Parish Council – Keep Bickerstaffe Tidy
- – Thames 21 – Join a River Clean Up
- – Stockton Heath Parish Council – The Big Help Out Litter Pick
- – Noak Bridge Parish Council – The Big Help Out Litter Pick
- – The Warrington Litter Network – Royal Litter Pick
- – Effingham Resident’s Association – The Big Help Out Litter Pick
- – Friends of Thringstone, Leicester – Community Litter Pick
- – Purton, Swindon – The Big Help Out Litter Pick
- – Washington Old Hall, Newcastle – The Big Help Out Litter Pick
- – Blackpool Beach Clean – Beach Care and Repair
And for even more events and litter-picking inspo, check out the Keep Britain Tidy website to find more local clean-up events near you. Or find out more about the wonderful people doing wonderful things as part of the Litterati. They’re on a mission “to create a litter-free world”, by empowering people to “make a significant, measurable impact on the environment”.
Litter-picking equipment: what you need for a beach clean up
Litter-picking requires equipment, the most important of which being a litter-picker. We know, shocking, right?
You may be thinking, why can’t I just use my hands? Well, by its very nature, litter is pretty unsanitary, and sharp objects such as cans can be a real menace.
Here’s a full breakdown of what you’ll need for a beach clean up:
- – Litter-picker
- – Heavy duty, protective gloves
- – Bin bags
- – A litter bag hoop
- – Hand sanitiser
Local authorities are usually happy to provide litter-picking equipment to volunteers. Or, if you’re looking to become a litter-picking pro, check out Keep Britain Tidy’s kits to buy everything you need online.
Safety tips to bear in mind
Litter-picking is a heroic thing to do, but it shouldn’t require death-defying stunts. Here are a few tips to ensure safety remains the number one priority:
- – Avoid chemical containers, syringes, and sharp objects. These need to be collected in containers, not litter bags.
- – If you’re picking litter on your own, do so in daylight and let people know where you’ve gone.
- – Cover any cuts with waterproof surgical tape or plasters.
- – Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands frequently.
- – Don’t pick litter in hazardous areas with fast-flowing water, deep water, busy roads, cliffs, or electric fences.
- – Stick to public land.
- – Keep your hands away from your face while you’re litter-picking.
Other ways to get involved
Litter picking not for you? We’ve rounded up some amazing resources for you to consider. From preserving our country’s rich history to protecting our furry friends, there is no shortage of volunteer opportunities available in your local area.
National Trust: Dedicated to maintaining historic homes, gardens, and parks, there are plenty of ways to lend a hand with the National Trust.
Scouts: If you’re looking for an adventure, the Scouts provide young people with the chance to gain important life skills like first aid and leadership training, all while making a difference in their community.
RSPCA: Love animals? The RSPCA work tirelessly to promote animal welfare, prevent cruelty, and help care for our furry friends.
Girl Guiding: Girl Guiding offers a chance for young girls to explore and express themselves, empowering them to uncover their strengths and make a meaningful impact in their community.
Rotary Club: The Rotary Club is a worldwide community of volunteers providing relief during times of crisis and lending a hand to local charities.
Of course, if you take part in any volunteering activities over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend, we’d love to see it! So, make sure you tag us on Instagram – @modernmilkman_
The King may have his crown, but we’ll have something even more valuable – a cleaner, greener future to look forward to.
Join our milkround
By grocery shopping sustainably with us, you can help to keep pesky plastic packaging away from our oceans and beaches. We’re all about protecting the environment and waving goodbye to single-use plastics, so we deliver each of our products in recyclable packaging.
Get started by signing up for our milkround. Simply place at least one repeat order, picking the delivery days that work best for you, and we’ll be round with your delivery in no time!