More than 100 people took part in World Cleanup Day over the weekend, clearing 700kg of waste across the island.
Launched in 2018, the movement aims to raise awareness on the ‘global mismanaged waste crisis’. Volunteers around the world spend the day cleaning up litter and waste from beaches, rivers, lakes, forests, streets and parks.
This year, charities, Beach Buddies along with PlasticBusters organised litter-picking events.
A spokesperson for PlasticBusters said: ‘The event is not just about cleaning our beautiful island; it’s about making a statement against the global littering problem and joining forces with millions worldwide in the fight against environmental degradation.
‘This annual, internationally recognised day brings attention to the environmental challenges faced by our planet, emphasising the power of collective action.’
Founder of PlasticBusters, Jaime Amoedo said: ‘We are deeply humbled and inspired by the dedication and commitment, once again, of the Isle of Man community.
‘In the face of challenging weather during the weekend we had a strong participation of volunteers around the Island that either participated in group activities or that cleaned up their adopted area as part of PlasticBusters “AdoptTheWorld” initiative.
‘This reinforces the idea that our planet’s well-being is a shared responsibility.
‘With initiatives like World Cleanup Day (for which PlasticBusters is its ambassador in the Isle of Man), along with the forthcoming ban on single-use plastics, the Isle of Man continues to work towards a strong standard of environmental stewardship.
‘Littering, even if smaller in scale compared to larger landmasses, is still a concern on the Isle of Man. Every piece of litter affects our environment, wildlife, and the island’s pristine beauty. Given our size, we have the unique advantage of setting an example by swiftly addressing and mitigating the issue.’
It comes as the government is set to ban an array of single-use plastics such as straws and carrier bags next month.
Mr Amoedo added: ‘Banning single-use plastics is a progressive step towards reducing littering and environmental degradation.
‘While it may not eliminate the problem entirely, it addresses a significant source of pollution and reinforces the need for sustainable alternatives.’
Founder of Beach Buddies, Bill Dale, said: ‘We held a series of events over the weekend of World Cleanup Day - six in total. The main event - on World Cleanup Day itself - was a joint event in conjunction with Plastic Busters.
The total number of people attending these events was 125. We collected an estimated 700kg of rubbish, much of which has been recycled (plastics, glass, metals and hard plastics).
‘I think things have changed dramatically in recent years and awareness in the Isle of Man is at a very high level, chiefly through education which Beach Buddies believes is the single most important method of making sustainable changes for the future.
‘The Beach Buddies started in 2006 and had two volunteers and tens of thousands of pieces of rubbish on beaches. Now we have tens of thousands of volunteers and everyone is collecting small amounts.’
Whilst he said that there is probably not much change overall in terms of what is washed up on beaches, he said that there has been a dramatic positive change inland.’
Asked what needs to be done to improve the litter problem, Bill said that it is important to ‘maintain education programmes in schools and make companies and individuals accountable if they deliberately dump rubbish or fly-tip.
‘Currently, no one gets prosecuted for this and we have to ask why.’
He added: ‘It’s easy to blame government or the local authority, but they are not the ones throwing rubbish in the street.
‘If we all do a small amount it will continue to give the island one of the best names in the world for having a tidy island where the residents are proud to live and genuinely care about nature and the environment.’