A 79 years old British woman named Pat Smith spent the entire year of 2018 cleaning 52 beaches in her locality along 400 miles of coastline.
Every year huge amounts of litter are thrown into the sea. These include plastic and other such durable wastes. They wash up on the coastline. Studies have proved that plastic pollution can be immensely harmful to marine life.
Smith, also tagged “Action Nan”, dedicated not less than two hours each day at the many beaches. She picked up everyday specimens of trash. These litter included parts of plastic food packaging, plastic bottles, plastic fishing nets, and plastic cigarette filters.
She was greatly inspired after watching a documentary about plastic pollution. She started wondering why don’t people start taking action against plastic pollution if it is such a grave issue. She understood that someone had to be the torchbearer and she did not hesitate after that.
As per the record from the United Nations, at least 800 species all around the world were affected by ocean litter till 2016.
Plastic wastes are responsible for killing millions of seabirds. Scientists have estimated that about 60% of seabirds have eaten pieces of plastics.
Action Nan was supported in her campaign by her grandchildren. They volunteered to help their grandmother.
She knew that she might not be able to create a huge difference in the 159 million tons of plastic that is currently circulating the ocean waters. Nevertheless, she put her efforts into cleaning these beaches because she hopes to inspire a far-reaching movement. She started this movement in her very own “backyard”, in Cornwall situated along the coastal region of the UK.
When she was asked about why she was putting in so many efforts she replied that she was bothered because she cares. She cares for the future of her grandchildren as well as the future children all over the world. She is trying to get them a taste of the fascinating experiences she had on cleaner beaches herself.
The action nan tackling plastic pollution on Cornwall's beaches.
Posted by BBC Three on Friday, March 1, 2019
When asked if she ever wants to stop she said that she has no intention to stop anytime soon, even at the age of 70! As long as she is able to move flexibly and perform her own tasks, she would continue working for the greater cause.
Along with this movement, Smith also has started a movement called Final Straw Cornwall. This campaign has inspired almost 6000 local area businesses to avoid usage of plastic straws. This shows how much power a single soul can have.