Running from 2nd - 11th June 2017, Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week aims to foster pride in our coastline, while empowering communities across the country to get involved in coastal clean-ups and events taking place.
Coca‑Cola Clean Coast Week 2017 benefited from the support of musician and TV broadcaster Kian Egan who helped spread awareness of the importance of protecting our precious Irish coastline.
As an avid surfer, Kian is passionate about protecting our beautiful beaches for future generations, spoke about his love of the coast at the launch held at Portmarnock Strand on Thursday 1st June.
Kian said, "Together with Coca‑Cola, An Taisce and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, I’m delighted to help generate awareness of the importance of protecting our beaches. Ireland has some of the most beautiful coastlines in world and we really don’t realise how lucky we are.
"As a keen surfer, I see first-hand the benefits of looking after our coasts and unfortunately also the damage that can be done by littering. I’m encouraging everyone to take stock of their own contribution to keeping our beaches clean, and I also want to celebrate the volunteers up and down this island who give a huge amount of their time and energy to protect our coast.
"Last year during Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week, more than 10 tonnes of marine litter was removed from the coastline and with a little help, we can make as much of an impact again in 2017.”
Research released by Coca‑Cola at the launch of Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week (2nd – 11th June) revealed that 95% of people across Ireland and Northern Ireland have encountered litter at the island’s coastline, with four in ten people naming litter as the greatest deterrent in visiting the coast. While the majority of respondents have experienced litter on our coastline, just 15% of people admit to having dropped litter themselves.
Drawing over eight million international visitors to our shores annually, the Irish tourism economy is reported to be worth €7.7 billion*, with the coastline estimated to contribute €2 billion alone**.
While a lot of us have experienced litter while at the beach, as a nation we take a lot of pride in our coastlines. Almost three quarters (73%) of people have celebrated our stunning coastline on social media, with Facebook the most widely used platform followed by Instagram.
To celebrate the world’s love of our coastline Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week has teamed up with popular Instagram account InstaIreland to showcase the beauty of the island’s coastline over the course of the week.
Irish artist Daragh Muldowney, speaking on his experience exploring Ireland’s rock pools for his exhibition ‘Jewellery Box - Ireland’s Hidden Gems', said “I have travelled all over the world and nothing compares to the Irish coastline. People flock from all over the world and draw inspiration from its beauty, so as the residents of Ireland it is up to us to do our part to protect and celebrate that beauty. With our online exhibition in partnership with InstaIreland, I hope we will encourage everyone to be mindful of litter when enjoying the coast.”
Speaking at this year’s launch Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said, “Our investment the Clean Coasts programmes spans 14 years, and we are very proud of our long-standing partnership An Taisce and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. As leaders in sustainability, we strive to minimise our impact on the environment and a key element of our efforts is focused on environmental stewardship within communities; encouraging people to act responsibly when it comes to disposing of waste. With Clean Coasts Week 2017, we aim to foster pride in our coastline, while reminding beach-goers of the importance of keeping our coasts litter free.”
There are 26,000 volunteers, over 700 volunteer groups and 300 events already planned for Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week. There are many ways to get involved, from taking personal litter home to helping out at a local beach clean event, or becoming more informed at one of the many educational events held around the country. Information of key events can be found on www.cleancoasts.org and www.liveherelovehere.org.