The Vancouver Island Chapter Surfrider Foundation will be hosting a beach clean up at Whiffin Spit on April 8 as part of their Combing the Coast program. (Contributed)

The Vancouver Island Chapter Surfrider Foundation will be hosting a beach clean up at Whiffin Spit on April 8 as part of their Combing the Coast program. (Contributed)

Conservation group targets unnecessary waste

Beach clean up to take place Sunday at Whiffin Spit in Sooke

A coastal conservation group is taking action against unnecessary waste by hosting a beach clean up in Sooke this Sunday (April 8).

The clean up is part of a monthly beach clean program, hosted by Vancouver Island Chapter Surfrider Foundation Canada. The group has cleaned up Whiffin Spit once a year for about the last ten years, with a goal of spreading awareness on how to consume less waste.

“Change starts from a community level,” said Gillian Montgomery, chapter manager of VICSFC. “And the more people that are informed, the better.”

The clean up runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Whiffin Spit beach, and everyone is welcome to join. Following the clean up, snacks will be provided for volunteers, and a short info session will be held to educate people about the harms of single-use plastic, as well as how to be more eco-friendly.

Montgomery explained that recycling is not the answer for society, as plastic has to be completely clean to be recycled, and even then it can only be recycled about two times before it goes into a landfill anyway.

“Single use plastics are a top type of item that we find on beaches, including water bottles, bags, coffee cups, straws and lighters,” Montgomery said.

“Single-use plastic only came into our lives about 50 years ago, so we are really encouraging people to try and reset to how things used to be, before we became this ‘to go’ culture that promotes fast and easy things like plastic water bottles or coffee cups that are used for 15 minutes and then tossed in a landfill.”

She added that the best way to take action is to eliminate these unnecessary plastics from your life, by bringing your own water bottle or coffee mug to places and not using plastic bags at the grocery store.

Buckets and gloves will be provided at the event but are limited, so participants are encouraged to bring their own.

“The clean up is a great community-building opportunity, that offers a chance to socialize and meet with like-minded people, all for a good cause,” said Montgomery.

For more information on VICSFC programs, visit their website at vancouverisland.surfrider.org.