Our seas and shores are getting increasingly clogged up with litter. Not only does it look unsightly and costs a tremendous amount in terms of clean up costs, it also causes significant problems for wildlife.
There are two main ways that animals can be harmed.Animals can get caught up in litter – Entanglement.
Animals can also mistakenly eat litter items – Ingestion.
Ingestion can cause physical damage to the animal and it can also clog up its digestive system preventing it from gaining adequate nutrition from its usual foods. A scientific study found that 90% of Fulmars in the North Sea had plastic in their stomachs. There are some quite shocking images available that show the devastating impact that plastics can have on seabirds.
Plastic items are the most common litter items. Plastic breaks into increasingly smaller pieces and it is thought that it never fully biodegrades. The smallest fragments of plastic are referred to as micro-plastic and these can be ingested by filter feeding animals that live off plankton. These micro-plastic particles are known to harbour really high levels of toxins (these are pollutants found in the sea that stick to the surface of the plastic particles).
All litter is preventable. Cleaning up the problem is really important but we need to work at Reducing, Reusing and Recycling to reduce the amount of waste we produce.
We encourage you to consider getting involved with the Marine Conservation Societies Beachwatch schemes as they involve conducting surveys that provide valuable information to try and help combat the problem. The results of the great british beach clean are published annually. For more information on the impact of marine litter and what you can do to help - see the Marine Conservation Society website and Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Coastal Campaign
Supporting community groups and schools to clean up Argyll
The GRAB Trust is delighted to offer small grants of up to £700 per year to groups and organisations carrying out village or beach clean-ups in the Argyll and Bute local authority area.
Applying for a Litter Grant
Please start by informing one our project workers prior to carrying out your clean-up.
Contact details can be found in the information accompanying the application form.
The application form includes our criteria, contact details and other useful information.
Please submit your application after you have carried out your clean-up, with photos where possible.
The GRAB Trust can support your clean-up by lending your group cleaning equipment (litter pickers, gloves and bags), helping you carry out a risk assessment and organising the collection of the litter. Please get in touch with your local project worker for more information.
The grant can be spent as the group decides. Please be aware, however, that funding is limited, so submission of a claim does not guarantee that a grant will be awarded.