Photo of plastic cups and bottles on Bournemouth beach

Bournemouth’s fight against plastic 

Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea Festival is fighting our plastic waste and littered beaches with this year’s theme, plastic beach.  

The festival takes place in venues all over the town from 14th – 21st October, inviting both local and international artists to create pieces around the chosen theme. 

Andrea Francis, the festival director, said: “This year to reflect our theme we have commissioned an installation project called “Save Our Seas” which is a large plastic bottle shaped sculpture made up of plastic bottles and we’re inviting the public to write a message in them. 

“We hope this encourages people to see how something small can make a big difference.” 

“300 plastic bottles, eight lilos, two inflatable unicorns, a flamingo and two perfectly usable inflatable dinghies”

Photo of inflatable flamingo, plastic bottles and lilos left on Bournemouth beach
Photo by Adrian Newton

Just last week, the Department for Environment announced more than eight million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the world’s oceans each year.  

Local artist Lynn Davy, from Wimborne Minster, has been collecting plastic from Bournemouth beach in preparation for her event ‘The Forest of Plasticity’ part of Arts by the Sea Festival Fringe at Bournemouth Beach on 28th October.  

She said: “We went down for half an hour on two evenings over the August bank holiday weekend and between three of us we collected over 300 plastic bottles, eight lilos, two inflatable unicorns, a flamingo and two perfectly usable inflatable dinghies! 

“It’s really sad that families come and enjoy this beautiful environment and then they completely trash it. 

“I think it’s very timely that this year’s theme is plastic beach, people are starting to realise how much of a problem this is that we’ve created.” 

In an effort to be greener, Arts by the Sea Festival have also partnered with Litter Free Coast and Sea’s refill scheme, encouraging local shops and businesses to refill bottles with tap water.  

Charlotte Wild, their project officer said: “The refill scheme encourages people to move away from single use plastic bottles and use a reusable plastic bottle instead.” 

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