A day at the beach but leave your picnic at home!

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A day at the beach but leave your picnic at home!


By Pat Ainscough - Customer Services Receptionist

What a gloriously cloudless, sunny day Monday 23rd June was for the Isle of Man. A day to be spent at the beach, for sure: ice cream, lazing on a deck chair, sandcastles, maybe even a paddle, would be the normal order of the day. Not, however, for Conister Bank staff, who decided to roll their sleeves up, don some wellies and take time out of their working day to help Bill Dale of Beach Buddies with the Island’s volunteer beach cleaning charity!

The Bank provided Bill with 16 staff who were all willing to split the task in hand between morning and afternoon shifts. These were spent at Groudle Beach, River and Glen, Happy Valley and Port Jack.  It has to be said, the two groups managed to pick these beaches relatively clean of the following mindboggling array of items:

  • Hundreds of plastic bottles and bottle tops. The tops often end up in the throats of seals and seabirds, while clear, semisubmerged plastic bottles can pose a problem for Basking Sharks.
  • Quite a few glass bottle necks and broken glass – the rest of the bottle being smashed into pieces and lying somewhere on the beach, under stones, sand or seaweed or on the sea bed.
  • A lot of discarded fishing line and even trawler boat netting – fortunately, on this occasion, not tangled around some poor fish or seal, or a seabird’s leg or beak, or even caught on the leg of a dog out for a morning constitutional with its owner!
  • The usual multiple beer and soft drink cans. Some of which looked as if they could have been discarded that very morning, while others were mainly broken up, crushed beyond recognition and all with sharp edges that could harm not only  us if we were not careful but also our children and pets  when enjoying days out on the island’s beaches.
  • Plastic bags removed from the river at Groudle that were snagged on tree roots and rocks – these could prove fatal for birds and fish trapped in them.
  • Finally, one rather ‘unsavoury item’ was found and disposed of properly - it is always worth giving some extra thought as to what exactly we flush down our toilets!

 It is quite saddening when you think about all the above, especially when you consider that all of this is a direct result of our impact on this planet and in particular, this beautiful little island we call home. BUT we can all help to minimise that impact, especially when it comes to being more conscious of our daily purchases, how we dispose or our rubbish, and how we can recycle and reuse everyday items:

  • Replace the ubiquitous plastic bag with a reusable material or paper bag.
  • Replace plastic bottles with glass – these can be washed and used again and again, andthe weight difference is marginal when either item is full of liquid.
  • Replace paper coffee cups and lids. Ceramic cups with silicon lids or metal thermos mugs work better and keep your drink hot/cold for longer.
  • Dispose of your rubbish in appropriate recycling bins where possible.

These are four very simple and easy steps to help protect our beaches, our wildlife, ourselves and our planet for future generations.

Below are some of the responses we had from staff that attended that day …

 “Thank you for organising and letting me jump in at the last minute. It was great for me because it gave me the opportunity to get to know some of you sooner and it was nice to be able to give back to the community. I think it is wonderful that Conister allows us to take part in such projects during work time and encourages staff bonding”. Rachel

 “I really enjoyed doing the beach clean; it was nice to be outside on such a lovely day.  I thought the whole set up worked very well. I think if more people did a beach clean, they might be less inclined to leave their rubbish behind. It was also a very sociable thing to do. I would do it again for sure”. Janet

 “Thank you for organising the event for us. It’s not something I’d have done without your encouragement and not only did I enjoy the experience but more importantly it made me think.” Juan (MD)

In the stakes of Humans vs Nature we can safely say that Conister cleaned up on this occasion!!


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Come and talk to our team in branch at:
Conister Bank Limited, Clarendon House, Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2LN

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