Even More Ocean Plastic Removed
This year went a lot much better than last year:
- Roughly 3 times the volume of ocean plastic removed approx. 48m3.
- We can report 1.6 tons removed, as we weighed our ocean plastic.
- 25% increase in team strength.
- No conflicts with land owners.
- No conflicts with staff at Dumfries and Galloway Recycling Centre
- Better Food
- 62.8% increase in all round awesomeness (I made this up).
So all in all a pretty good list to be proud of, and what’s more we all had fun doing it.
We arrived in 3 cars, travelling from the Midlands, London and Devon. I had so much stuff in my car, it was crazy. The car was weighed down quite severely, and that was before I picked up a large mesh sided trailer from near Worcester.
I arrived on the Western Rhins at about 5pm. It was sunny, with a light wind, so after parking up at our campsite, I sat down and had a well deserved beer.
First to arrive was Kujo, relatively fresh off his driving test, and bringing with him Rachel, Will and Meg.
Meg (from London) was quite plucky coming on this trip as she was a complete stranger to any of us, and I think to sign up for a wild camping trip in Scotland, based around hard labour, with 7 strangers is pretty brave.
Rachel, was also new this year, and proved to be a real savant. With 5.6% of her words spoken in Puns. I am quickly told the interrupting cow joke, promptly upon her arrival.
Kujo and Will are Trustees of the ocean plastic charity, and were there for the 2021 trip. It is good to see them both again, and all of the sudden the year since we last met seams to have passed quite quickly.
Setting Up Camp
After learning the 3rd car will arrive later, we proceed to set up camp. Thanks to a grant from Sea Changers we have been able to purchase a few bits of equipment to make camp more hygenic and functional.
- A large folding table – to cook and prepare food upon
- Bowls, Spoons and Mugs for all –
- A toilet tent – to provide privacy. Although we still poop in a hole in the ground. We may get a portaloo next year. . .
- a large cooking pot
- 25 Dumpy bags (@ £4 each – a significant expense)
Soon all 8 are there, tents are up. And the cooking pot is in service full of curry. It good to see old (not literally) faces such as Cairo, aswell and new such as Sofi and Sam. After a few too many Tenants, we turn in for the night.
The next morning we head over to a Bay on the Western Rhins. We are familiar with the Bay from Last year. Bill and Jenny live there, and the Farm is owned and operated by Padraig. He is immediately helpful, and offers to drop a large trailer down on the bay, for us to fill. This is a god send. Thanks to this offer we shift more plastic off of the beach in the first day than we did in 3 days at the same beach last year.
Whilst I, and perhaps some of the others, are there to save the planet, and get some exercise. Cairo has some additional plans, revolving around measuring, counting, and weighing the plastic. This is quite important, and would have been overlooked if he hadn’t have taken the initiative to arrange it.
We have a spring balance that we use to weigh the dumpy bags as they are filled, and various additional observations are made.
We eat our lunch off of a table made out of a oil drum we found on the beach. Still room for improvement on the hygiene front!
Each morning we return Padraig, has towed the full trailer up to the yard, and we transfer the plastic in to the new trailer I bought on the way up. It is very satisfying to see it loaded in, and we keep piling it up and strapping the bags on top, so it is far taller than the car towing it!
The filled trailer is then towed to the Recycling Centre at Stranraer. We do not know what happens to the waste from there. Despite contacting companies such as Axion (We have been ignored), and a myriad of Ocean Plastic Users we still haven’t found a good destination for our plastics. This is a shame, as there is no guarantee the waste won’t be exported to 3rd world countries . . . in early research I was very keen to get the plastic incinerated (to get rid of it for good) but that is not an option either., most incinerator will not take the waste as it does not have a representative waste code, and will not take the comparatively small quantities we generate.
2022 Thank Yous
M – Thanks for throwing your lot in with us, very brave of you to head out into the wilderness with a bunch of randoms. It was great to meet you.
R – Thanks for all of the puns, and your hard work. You were good company, and full of beans.
S – Queen of “Tetris” and a real grafter, thanks very much. Thanks for fixing by trailer electrics with your hairband – ingenious.
C – Thanks for taking ther lead on the research side of things. It really adds value to what we are doing. You’re percussion skills on the various plastic drums we found was very good (B+).
K – Thanks for the great bantz, and dinner on the last night was really good thanks. Impressed one of you first drives after passing test was from London to Scotland . Boom.
T – In the absence of google (no reception) you were the next best thing. I read the Elphinstone book BTW, harrowing.
W – Thanks for looking out for everyone (including me on drive home), and as per usual you navigational skills were unsurpassed.