Looking to recycling

‘I feel an awful lot of people would like to see recycling taking off. Projects like yours have successfully put plastic pollution in the public gaze. I feel we are at the point where we are waiting for a workable recycling process to happen especially in harbours. Connections need to be made especially in the fishing industry.’  Eyemouth Harbour Master, Richard Lawton

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It is for this reason that all the #LitterCUBES events have taken place in unexpected locations like the old Eyemouth fish market, under the gaze of passers-by, giving the opportunity of making connections between young and old, trawler crews, visitors, divers, fish merchants and residents.  Even on chilly days questions are asked, conversations begin and un-thought of connections are made.

Broad discussions with the local fish-merchant about the recycle-ability of fish boxes and box strapping, led to a useful connection with a visiting packaging supplier keen to emphasise the ‘good & bad polymers’ e.g. the ease of recycling Polypropylene products compared to Polystyrene ones, which is less easy especially when contained fish and absorbed fish oils & blood.

My Polypropylene #LitterCUBES made from prawn boxes and strapping now have an end destination in Grimsby in 2021 after showing the finished collection next year.  All the bottle CUBES including the one started in Eyemouth will be easily recyclable as they are made from valuable PET [Polyethylene terephthalate].

It is the heavy Rope/net and fine fishing line CUBES that the enthusiastic young people from Eyemouth High and  Primary Schools joined in weaving and sewing that will prove more difficult to recycle. The end of life of the thousands of pieces of rope and fishing line, collected on the Berwickshire beaches by tens of beach cleaners locally is far less certain. Please get in touch with recycling possibilities!

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A massive thanks to all who took part, particularly the schools and teachers, plus supporting organisations Splash, Berwickshire Marine Reserve, Blue Marine Foundation, Eyemouth HarbourEyemouth Harbour and Eyemouth Hippodrome. I am grateful to the many donations from supporters through Crowd Funding and philanthropic arts, community & environment trusts, plus local business Eyemouth Marine Ltd.

“As someone who is concerned about the future health of our marine environment, I would encourage everyone to take action and change habits to ensure the health of our seas. At Eyemouth Marine we are conscious of this, and take steps to minimise our impact on the marine environment.

By supporting the #LitterCUBES project we hope to highlight the scale of marine plastic pollution; This is an issue for our community locally as well as a national concern, and Julia’s display’s in Eyemouth will serve as a reminder to us all of our responsibility to look after our seas, we have one world, one ocean, we need to look after it”.

Patrick Flockhart, Director Eyemouth Marine Ltd

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Weaving connections in Eyemouth

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Preparation is underway to weave thousands of pieces plastic cord, rope, net, fishing line and hundreds of plastic bottles collected along the Berwickshire coast into 3 #LitterCUBES.  Each cube will also contain a 30% mix of materials from the NW Highlands, East Lothian, Shetland and Angus and will present an account of the nature, scale and the complexities of marine plastic pollution in our coastal communities. I hope it will inform the need to break with polluting habits and expose the actual value of plastic involved.

The week’s events will provide practical opportunities to weave together and to weigh and calculate the energy value of plastic pollution

Public events at SPLASH, Community Space, along Eyemouth’s Quayside  everyone welcome, free and fully accessible event.

Thurs 26th 3-5 pm           Fri 27th 1-5 pm              Sat 28th Sept 10 am – 5 pm

Thanks to everyone for collecting litter items and to Eyemouth Hippodrome, Voluntary Marine Reserve, Eyemouth Harbour Trust, SPLASH Commuity Trust, for in-kind support and for donations from Eyemouth Marine, local residents, crowd funding and philanthropic arts, community and environment trusts.

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Angus Coastal Festival

Glad to be in Arbroath to launch this year’s Angus Coastal Festival (13- 23rd Sept) with its bio-diverse programme of events, covering all the things I love and enjoy about working within the Scottish Littoral  zones, from the geology of cliffs, rocks and pebbles, to investigating rock pools, identifying seaweeds, coastal plants, butterflies and bird life. And importantly connecting and working with people who care and want to help to make our marine environment healthy and sustainable.

Over 12 beach cleans are taking place, already tonnes have been removed from Arbroath beaches and more bottles saved  by the Ladyloan Primary School  with Turning the Plastic Tide and Our East Haven  volunteers for the Angus #LitterCUBES.  60 eager pupils joined me to learn more about sculpture, plastic as a material and its origin in oil and energy. I am asking  Festival goers to join me today Saturday 14th threading and weaving the next #LitterCUBES at the Arbroath Signal Tower from fishing net and rope. All welcome.