By Ben Cornwell 

With more than 10 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean from the world’s coastlines every year, plastic pollution has be-come one of the most pressing environmental issues. Hastings local Chris Williams and his partner Lara are doing their bit to try and help tackle the issue and keep our stunning beaches clean. For the past three years, the couple have spent a few hours every week picking up rubbish on the same 600 metres of St Leonards beach – from the Goat Ledge Café to just past the Azur Restaurant. 

CREDIT: Chris Williams

In early 2018 Lara started a monthly beach cleaning event; in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society, which would often meet and clean up near the Hastings Pier. When the pandemic struck the monthly events were sadly halted, but that didn’t stop the couple from getting out when they could and continuing the work they had started. Although they did admit it can be difficult some weeks to find the time to head down to the beach. Lara is busy working as a frontline NHS worker whilst Chris is self-employed and also doing a degree in Environmental Science at the Open University. 

Their commitment over the past three years should be commended, with over 60,000 pieces of rubbish being picked up between them. It hasn’t all been plastic bottles and carrier bags though. 

“Predominantly, it has been cellophane, cigarette packages, sugar sachets and crisp packets… but we’ve also found all manner of bizarre and wonderful things; wall plugs, bits of carpet, even saws and screwdrivers,” Chris said.

CREDIT: Chris Williams

They hope their work and effort can inspire others to get involved in the fight to protect our marine life and oceans.

Chris added, “If everyone grabbed something while they were there, it would make a huge difference. We do see dog walkers and other people out on the beach picking up litter from time to time which is always good to see, as every single piece of plastic we can get off the beach counts.”

The couple has set up a crowdfunding page to help cover the costs of their website, equipment and hopefully the return of the monthly beach cleaning events in the future so that more of our beautiful coastline can be covered.

You can donate to their Crowdfunder at or find out more on their website

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