When Margaret Davison and her 11 year-old grandson, Matthew, visited the beach at Beadnell, they were appalled at the amount of litter they found and the effects it could have. Matthew has written about what they did to help.
"We set off across the golden sanded beach on what could be called pleasure, but would very quickly become a lot more of a job then a light stretch of the legs and a stroll.
It was a fairly windy day, it would pass as a light breeze rather than a storm, but still, it lightly punched us all the way. We had set out to the beach because we thought it would be a nice idea, and had borne in mind the fact of a whale being beached not long ago.
The story went as, a whale was beached, and when they cut open its stomach to see its contents, the researchers were horrified by the sight they saw. What they saw would not only shock, but lead us to do what we did when we went to the beach. They found not one, not five, not twenty-five, but thirty plastic carrier bags. This was the cause of what killed it. That’s how the story went.
This is where we came in. After finding out about this horrific incident, we set out to the beach. I was kicking a ball along the beach; while my grandma collected any bit of plastic she came across, and popped it in the bag she had brought along. That’s not to say I didn’t do anything. I pulled out a bag which builders carried their materials in. I caught a semi-deflated balloon, and a bottle of pop. We’d gone maybe 200 yards before my grandma’s bag was brimming with plastic which could have killed off another whale.
The whole reason for this article is to raise awareness for whales being beached. A few facts about whales are:
- They live for 29 years [if they are not killed by plastic],
- They weigh 144 tonnes [more if they have plastic in them],
- There are 86 types of them right now [could be less if lots are swallowing plastic]"