Photo: Martin Dorey
The Beach Clean Network Limited: Board Guardian Angel Project (United Kingdom)

The Beach Clean Network Limited is a UK based non-profit organisation, set up to encourage beach cleaning. It is responsible for the #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick and #2minutestreetclean initiatives. The idea behind the project is very simple: you pick up litter for 2 minutes each time you go to the beach (or anywhere) and put it in a designated litter station.

  • Raise awareness of the problems caused by litter and single use plastics.
  • Help communities to take pride in their beaches, open spaces, towns and cities.
  • Increase the opportunities for the public to recycle the litter collected during litterpicks
  • Develop a network of Board Guardian Angels who can ensure that the litter stations are in good working order.

The problem

Large amounts of plastic and litter get washed up on beaches every day, all over the world. Apart from animals mistaking it for food or getting tangled up in it, plastic causes a lot of harm to nature. It doesn’t biodegrade like organic material and will just keep on breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that could take hundreds, if not thousands of years to degrade. These small pieces can be eaten by wild life and may enter the food chain. Recent studies prove that even plankton can eat tiny plastic fragments. Chemicals added to plastics during manufacturing to give them specific properties can also leach into the marine environment and organisms. In short, plastic is a real danger to marine life and needs to be removed. 

The project

To support members of the public in their efforts to do a #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick or #2minutestreetclean, litterpicking stations have been set up in 550 locations across the UK (others have been launched in Portugal, Greece and Cyprus). Each station needs a dedicated Board Guardian who is responsible for placing it out each day and taking it in at night or when there are storms. Sometimes stations get damaged by adverse weather conditions, vandalism or general wear and tear, and litter collection bags often run out. They need to recruit more Board Guardian Angels to care for the stations and monitor how they are being used. A co-ordinator will also be needed to compile statistics on how the service is working, to monitor how the support service is being used and if it is working for those locations that have stations. The co-ordinator will also act as a support for the #2minute Board Guardian Angels. For more information please go to beachclean.net