Flossie and the beach cleaners 3.5 tonne clean-up

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Flossie and the beach cleaners

Environment Group tackle Pollution with the ‘The Big Weigh In’

Almost 3.5 tonne of pollution was removed from Irish rivers, canals, lakes and beaches this bank holiday weekend thanks to Flossie and The Beach Cleaners’ ‘Big Weigh In’.

The local community clean-up kicked-off on Saturday 31st July, with volunteers right across the 26 counties cleaning their local waterways on the same day at the same time.

Supported by Peopl. Insurance, the eco initiative aimed to quantify the weight of pollution that is present, in and around our rivers, canals, lakes and beaches at any point in time.

Volunteer groups received special ‘Flossie Packs’ for cleaning up, with gloves and bags and weighing scales to keep track of all the rubbish collected, as well as beanie hats and swimming hats for helpers.

Flossie and the beach cleaners
Flossie Donnelly and Avery Kearns at the 40ft Photo: Justin Farrelly.

On top of COVID-19, environmental science leaves no doubt that the planet is suffering its own pandemic, according to Flossie Donnelly, the 14-year-old student who originally started the beach cleaning group in south county Dublin in 2017, that inspired the formation of the charity.

“Destructive climate change is evident all around us, and it will take everyone’s support to solve.  As an environmental charity we see first-hand how much extra pollution has been created during the pandemic including masks, drinks bottles and hand sanitiser bottles that pollute our waterways and kill marine life”, according to Flossie’s Mum Harriet Donnelly.

Known as a fun marine environmental charity, Flossie and The Beach Cleaners tackle plastic pollution and climate change through fun educational workshops and weekly beach cleans. 

Encouraging individuals, schools or businesses to host a workshop or stage a beach clean, as a volunteer herself, Flossie Donnelly said volunteering is great fun, in a great cause, and the perfect way to connect with the community.

“Our Big Weigh In event illustrates just how much damaging rubbish is destroying our beautiful natural amenities and hurting marine and wildlife.  Being part of the solution, and organising a clean-up, shows young people that they can make a difference, and changes attitudes to casual littering and the damage it causes”, Harriet Donnelly says.

Paul Walsh, Peopl. Insurance CEO, took part in a Dublin beach clean and says it is inspirational to see so many people who care deeply about our environmental impact.

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