Local Charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is calling for volunteers across Northern Ireland to get involved in Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week, running from 1st-9th June with a series of litter picks and clean ups. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful want to inspire and create a Clean Coasts Community to take action and help preserve the coastline for generations to come.
To launch this year’s clean up, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful called for volunteers to ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ and help create a large scale piece of sand art on a local beach. The piece itself was designed by renowned sand artist Sean Corcoran who used the wave from the Clean Coasts logo as inspiration. The community then filled the wave with hearts and bubbles as well as completing a beach clean to ensure everyone could enjoy the artwork litter-free.
Last year across the island of Ireland 3938 volunteers registered for 207 community-based events and clean ups across beaches, rivers, loughs, canals and reservoirs – collecting an incredible 3589 bags of litter, that’s 23 tons – the equivalent of 250 people.
Jodie McAneaney, Live Here Love Here Manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful comments: “Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week is growing from strength to strength and we’re excited to see how many volunteers will support us this year. Our aim is to create a clean coasts community who will continue to look after and enjoy our shores throughout the year and encourage others to do the same. Northern Ireland has some of the most beautiful shores in the world and we should be proud to protect and preserve them as well as taking advantage of the wonderful sports and hobbies organised around them by local communities.”
Gillian Shields, Packaging and Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “At Coca-Cola HBC, sustainability lies at the heart of our business. We continually strive to minimise our impact on the environment, with ambitious targets to reduce water, energy, waste and packaging.
We also believe in a world without waste, and our 11 year-long partnership with the Clean Coasts programme in Northern Ireland plays an important role in that ambition. With the support of our partners Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, we are keen to do even more in 2019 to champion responsible behaviour with respect to littering and encourage greater recycling.”
As well as making a positive effort to enhance the environment, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful are keen to promote mental well-being via the ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ theme. Art therapy is a proven treatment for helping improve mental wellbeing and can reduce stress, negative feelings and improve overall health.
This year’s campaign aims at igniting a community spirit, targeting enthusiasts who feel passionate about the environment, Northern Ireland and its shores to join in the activities or create their own events. By registering, volunteers receive a complimentary kit with everything they need to run their own event, plus a list of how to become involved in other neighbouring events and communities.
Volunteers can use #CleanCoasts to search for all the latest information and use it to upload their before and after pictures of their litter-picks and associated beach art.
This year Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week is proudly supported by local ocean enthusiasts such as former Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien – who has competed Internationally, representing Northern Ireland and Ireland in sailing, Kiko Matthews – who broke the world record for the fastest female solo row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2018 and has since devoted her time to the anti-plastic campaign ‘Kik-Plastic 2019’ and Siofra Caherty, founder of the sustainable design studio ‘Jump The Hedges’, which focuses on sustainability, functionality and local manufacturing.