The two groups of 2018-19’s Transition Year students at St. Joseph’s Seconday School work on a community service unit with Ballybunion TidyTowns volunteers each week. One group works with the TidyTowns each Thursday afternoon. The second group of TY students do their community service unit on Friday mornings. The students do a variety of things for our town. You may often see them out weeding, planting, painting, litter picking, beach cleaning and participating in holiday activities. Recently, the two groups participated in the An Taisce Clean Beaches, “Big Beach Clean” that took place over several days earlier this month. The focus of this particular clean up was to collect data and report it on-line regarding what was found on our beach on the day. Besides cigarette butts, the students found that the most pervasive items were made of plastic. The items ranged from plastic rope, strapping, stirrers, lolly sticks, bottle caps, cups, wrappers, etc. Collecting our data only reinforces the world-wide concern about plastic contamination. Plastic in our oceans has now become a serious environmental issue. The following 3 facts are real eye-openers:
1) A dump truck worth of plastic goes into our oceans every minute of every day.
2) Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one litre bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
9.) By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.
Pictured is the Thursday & Friday group of St Joseph’s Transition Year students with the results of 1 hour of beach cleaning and their data collection.