Thank you for your interest in learning more about Coastal Cleaners Andalucia. We are a local, environmentally focussed group based in Andalucia Spain. Here’s some information about how and why the group started and what it’s all about by Sue Parmenter-Phillips (Group founder and organiser)
How We Began
I live near the sea and walk my dog on out of town beaches that the raking machines can’t access. Often seeing washed up and discarded plastic and rubbish I felt saddened and concerned for the marine life but also overwhelmed by the quantity. It felt too much to tackle alone. Then one day I saw the ‘Pick up 3’ campaign, an initiative started in the UK that encourages people to pick up 3 pieces of plastic every time they visit a beach. That felt achievable and I made a pledge to myself that I would take a minimum of 3 pieces on each walk. This soon snowballed to a bag full (!) and I began posting on Facebook about my daily finds. I was surprised by the support the posts received. People wanted to get involved and the first group clean took place in March 2018.
Since then CCA volunteers have removed just under 1500 40lt bags of debris from natural spaces, mainly between Aguilas and Macenas near Mojacar in Andalucia, South East Spain. This helps to protect wildlife from the dangers of becoming ensnared or mistakenly ingesting plastics by confusing it for food, keeps our beaches clean and reminds people that there is no ‘away’ especially for plastic, a durable material designed to last for decades but often used for short term convenience purposes with long term environmental effects.
The Third Year
Now in the beginning of our 3rd year, CCA has grown. With regular activities, events, projects and excursions all based around raising awareness and getting people connected and involved.
Beach Cleans & Events
Along with regular beach cleans that take the form of coastal walks, plastic free picnics and kayak trips, I organise dolphin watching excursions, Scuba diving sessions, give presentations to groups and have connected with 2 seamstresses to produce a range of 100% recycled bags using Coffee sacks, car seat belts and old pool inflatables which are being sold at local markets.
CCA Approved Venue
The CCA Approved Venue Award Scheme is in its second year and to help encourage venues to take part we will be producing a leaflet outlining the projects objectives and how local eateries can be part of the solution. For more information please click on the tab in the menu above or this link: www.coastalcleanersandalucia.com/approvedscheme.php
The Future & Getting Involved
I am very proud of what we have achieved in the last 2 years and during it all I have met some great people. We turn up, get the job done and have fun along the way. New people are welcomed into the group and everyone works together at a level that suits them. As this video from a clean in Almeria where 600 people took part along 15km of coastline shows, it can be a very empowering experience. If you’d like to get involved please see our upcoming events on the Facebook page which is updated regularly. We’d love to meet you