Volunteers clear 40 years’ worth of plastic from Beachy Head

Bags and bags of rubbish were cleared from Beachy Head by volunteers this month.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 5:16 pm

Members of the East Sussex unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) carried out their first operation of the year on June 15.

During the operation, 30 large builders bags full of plastic debris, which had built up for more than 40 years, were gathered from inaccessible rocks below Beachy Head and taken to Sovereign Harbour for proper disposal using the charity’s Eastbourne-based training boat called East Sussex 1.

Once it got to Sovereign Harbour the rubbish was taken away by Environment First.

East Sussex 1 entering Sovereign Harbour. Photo from Maritime Volunteer Service. SUS-210621-164712001
East Sussex 1 entering Sovereign Harbour. Photo from Maritime Volunteer Service. SUS-210621-164712001

In August and September last year alone, East Sussex 1 collected five tons of plastic waste, according to the MVS.

This operation was in support of a project by environmental group Beachy Head and Seven Sisters Extreme Plastic Objects Removal.

The head of the local MVS unit, Greg Darby, said, “We are very happy to continue to support this very important project.

“I am proud of the excellent seamanship skills and teamwork shown by our crew and of the support of the whole unit during the clear-up operation.

Loading up East Sussex 1. Photo from Maritime Volunteer Service. SUS-210621-164738001

“I’m also happy to say that we’re expecting to resume our youth group programme shortly, both taking youngsters and their leaders out on East Sussex 1 and also providing them with small boat training in the harbour.”