22/04/21 - 22/07/21 Charity Support- Surfers Against Sewage

We are really excited to kick off our first charity support with our Environmental Category. We have chosen Surfers Against Sewage.  

Surfers Against Sewage is a marine conservation charity working with communities to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life. It was created in 1990 by a group of Cornish surfers from the villages of St Agnes and Porthtowan on the north coast of Cornwall. They fight long and hard to protect what they love and they won’t stop until it’s completely clean, safe and protected for everyone, forever.

'We began as a response by the surfing community to the dreadful state of our beaches. Those hardy souls who ventured into the water back then often found themselves swimming in raw sewage. There’s tales of sanitary towels on heads and human poo sandwiched between bodies and boards. Completely unacceptable. The campaign grew loud, proud and strong and thanks to the passion and perseverance of our members — the UK now enjoys some of the cleanest beaches in Europe. Of course it’s not just surfers who care passionately about our coastlines — our members are swimmers, dog walkers, paddleboarders, beach cleaners, kite surfers, sandcastle builders, ice cream eaters and sun bathers too. We protect it because we love it and that’s where we feel most at home. We’ll always care about Water Quality issues and our Safer Seas Service continually monitors sewage spills in real time on beaches around the UK. But ‘Plastic is the new sewage’ as it is now the biggest threat to our beaches, our precious marine eco-system and our happiness.'

Surfers Against Sewage have amazingly completed 1,530 beach cleans so far in 2019. The waste they have saved from going into the oceans from their beach cleans has been so important in the on oginng battle with our oceans and pollution. 

Some shocking ocean pollution statistics to bring home the truth of the problem:

  • 100 million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone. 
  • 100,000 marine animals die from getting entangled in plastic yearly – this is just the creatures we find!
  • 1 in 3 marine mammal species get found entangled in litter, 12-14,000 tons of plastic are ingested by North Pacific fish yearly. 
  • In the past 10 years, we’ve made more plastic than the last century. By 2050, the population of fish will be outnumbered by our dumped plastic. 
  • The largest trash site on the planet is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, twice the surface area of Texas, it outnumbers sea life there 6 to 1. 
  • China is ranked #1 for mismanaged waste and plastics. However, the US is in the top 20 with a more significant waste per person contributions. 
  • 300 Million tons of plastic gets created yearly, and this weighs the same as the entire human population, and 50% is single-use only. 
  • There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. 269,000 tons float, 4 billion microfibers per km² dwell below the surface. 
  • 70% of our debris sinks into the ocean's ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches. 
  • In terms of plastic, 8.3 million tons are discarded in the sea yearly. Of which, 236,000 are ingestible microplastics that marine creatures mistake for food. 
  • Plastics take 500-1000 years to degrade; currently 79% is sent to landfills or the ocean, while only 9% is recycled, and 12% gets incinerated. 
  • 1950-1998 over 100 nuclear blast tests occurred in our oceans. 
  • 500 marine locations are now recorded as dead zones globally, currently the size of the United Kingdom’s surface (245,000 km²)
  • 80% of global marine pollution comes from agriculture runoff, untreated sewage, discharge of nutrients and pesticides.
  • 90% of the worldwide ocean debris comes from 10 rivers alone

Even though there are a lot of negative news about the oceans, there are many ways you can help in the fight for change. Here are just a few ways you can help:

  • If you can, stop eating fish or try to eat less of it
  • Change your plastic products to plastic free products 
  • Take care of the beach, leave nothing but your footprints behind and try a beach clean up
  • Avoid purchasing marine life products. Like coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles) and shark products
  • Support Ocean conservation charities and their work
  • Become vocal within your community and help to make changes there as well as spreading awareness around this issue
  • Educate yourself on the problems that oceans are facing, the more you know the more you will want to protect it
  • Skip the single use plastics

 Thoughtful Ways is really honored to be able to support Surfers Against Sewage and their work which is so important in our fight to bring back our oceans. The plastic problem all oceans and water sources are facing daily is only getting worse but with the dedicated work from SAS, other environmentalist charities and thoughtful members of the public we can make a change and speak up for the oceans, marine life and habitats that are struggling. 

Please do check out Surfers Against Sewage at Surfers Against Sewage | Environmental charity tackling plastic pollution (sas.org.uk)

If you can support their work, help out in a beach clean or help inform people of the current situation the ocean is in, we can all make a difference if we advocate for our oceans and do our bit in being better humans. 

I will be posting a post on our social medias @thoughtfulwaysuk on Instagram and @thoughtfulways on Facebook with a screenshot of our confirmation when we donate. Thank you for your support, this means we are able to donate to important charities like SAS and help out our precious planet.

Come back on the 23/07/21 to find out which charity we will be donating to next. 



Information and Photos from:

Surfers Against Sewage | Environmental charity tackling plastic pollution (sas.org.uk)

100+ Ocean Pollution Statistics & Facts (2020-2021) (condorferries.co.uk)