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Student volunteers clean up the beach in conservation efforts

More than 400 pieces of rubbish were found on the 100m stretch of beach.

A BRAND new society has already made their mark, after joining in on a beach clean last month.

On September 22, members of the university’s Marine Conservation Society hosted the first of their ‘Give it a Go’ events, which ran in line with the Great British Beach Clean Weekend, organised by national charity, MCS.

Despite the society only being a month old, around 50 Stirling students rose to the occasion, collectively pulling 38.5kg of rubbish from a 100m stretch of beach in Kinneil on the east coast of Scotland.

Results of the beach clean found that more than two thirds (67.5%) of the rubbish picked up was either plastic or polystyrene. 421 individual pieces of litter were collected on the short stretch of beach.

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Credit: Jack Holt

The marine conservation society’s president, Caitlin Turner, was thrilled with the turnout.

The marine biology student started up the society in September with a group of keen individuals.

She said: “Marine conservation has always been something I’ve been passionate about.

“And with Stirling being so environmentally conscious and having links to the ocean through diving, surf, aquaculture and marine biology degrees – it just seemed to make sense.

“I have been asked a few times ‘why Stirling?’ when we’re so far away from the actual ocean, but I’m also a strong believer that education and awareness is vital towards any successful conservation campaign.

“We are far away from the ocean, but that doesn’t mean that our human effects are far away, if that makes any sense? We all in some way are still connected to it and contribute to its health. So I just wanted to create a society that would be a part of conservation efforts primarily through education and raising awareness, as well as through action.”

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Most of the material found was made of plastic or polystyrene. Credit: UoS Marine Conservation Society

Caitlin was keen to thank all those who made the event possible; the society now looks forward to their Hallowe’en fundraiser at the Students’ Union on Saturday, November 2.

She said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to every student that either came along, raised awareness of this event or have shown interest in our society.

“I also want to thank everyone at the MCS for their continuous fight to save our oceans. We couldn’t have done this without you and it inspires so much hope for conservation efforts.”

Featured image credit: UoS Marine Conservation Society

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