Leave Only Footprints

Spotted anything different on the Beach lately…

This summer we’re encouraging visitors enjoying the Dorset coast to be plastic savvy and reduce the amount of rubbish entering the sea and littering our beautiful beaches.

A set of installations designed to represent the impact our waste has on Dorset beaches have been installed in Weymouth Lyme Regis West Bay & Bournemouth.

Whether it’s discarded plastic, cigarette butts littering the sand or large amounts of take away litter; the end is all too predictable and bound to have an impact on our seas, beaches and ecosystems.

Don’t take our word for it, go see them for yourself – take a ‘selfie’, upload your photos using the #footprints and tell us what you will do or have done to help tackle the issues of beach litter and reducing single use plastics.

Or if you have any brilliant ideas…tell us what they are! It’s good to talk!

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Thanks to our brilliant supporters and communities around Dorset and along the coast doing 2-minute beach and litter picks and our beach clean care groups and volunteers, we’re able to tackle this problem from a local to countywide level.

So, if you ‘take only memories and leave only footprints’…you can be part of the solution.

The end of August saw the finale of our behaviour change campaign beach installations. It’s been a love hate reaction and after the first week, Weymouth’s installation was vandalised and the lid damaged.

We agreed with the artist, Jack Raisey, that to prevent similar damage, that the lids of the remaining boxes should be closed, and the graphics re positioned on top.

Sadly, two weeks ago, the Bournemouth installation was completely trashed, which prompted an early removal. But on a positive note, feedback from our partner organisations told us the installations had been great conversation starters. A full review and feedback will be available for the next update, but when we said ‘leave only footprints’…we meant it.

Check out the video of the removal from Lyme Regis beach!

Did you know…

Did you know that approximately 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into our seas every day? That has a devastating effect on marine life as well as littering our beautiful coastlines. The larger than life installations designed and built by architectural designer Jack Raisey, will stay in place until the end of August.

 The installations represent typical single use plastic, take away food and drink containers and promote key campaign messages to help steer and suggest choices we can all make to combat the impact that plastic, and our waste, is having on the local environment and our planet.

Decorated to represent the geology of the area; the installations show that the fossils of tomorrow may be the plastic litter we release into the environment today.

what’s it all about…

The project was devised by Litter Free Coast and Sea and Dorset Food and Drink after their innovative ‘plastic surgeries’, where local food and drink businesses were invited to a series of roadshows to find out how to reduce their plastic consumables, experiment with alternative packaging and share their experience to inspire others in the industry to do the same.

The sculptures celebrate their efforts and promote making environmentally responsible choices.

Jack Raisey the artist says “The installations will not only create a striking silhouette against the beachscape but are designed to encourage people stop and think, even if only for a second. If everyone made small changes, it adds up to make a big difference.”

Gwen Hawkins, coordinator of Litter Free Coast and Sea says “We want to engage with people using the beaches and help them be more aware of the damage littering causes, with the aim of reducing food and drink related litter such as bottles, trays, cutlery, BBQs etc. The installations Jack has created will get people’s attention and make people think about the impact they have while at the beach”.

The project has very much been one of partnership, bringing together Litter Free Coast and Sea, Dorset Food and Drink, and the Arts Development Company as well as Dorset Council, Lyme Regis Town Council, Bridport Town Council, Weymouth Town Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.

Whether it’s discarded plastic bags, cigarette butts winding their way into drains, or large amounts of plastic waste and litter; the end is all too predictable, and bound to have an impact on our seas, beaches and ecosystems.

But its thanks to our supporters and communities around Dorset and along the coast doing 2-minute beach cleans and litter picks that we’re able to tackle this problem from local to national level.