By Rebecca Hannant
The man known as the Coastline Runner has returned to Withernsea to give a presentation to members of the town council and a local Lifestyle group on the impact of single-use plastics.
As reported in our July 14 edition, Luke Douglas-Home, 51, has pledged to run the entire coastline of the UK while educating people on the use of plastics and their correct disposal.
So far, Luke has run the entirety of the Norfolk, Lincolnshire and East Riding coastlines. Along his journey, he has collected more than 150kg of shoreline plastic and has spoken to many town mayors who have shared his passion for tackling the problem.
On Tuesday, September 6, Luke took a break from his running to give a presentation at the Meridian Centre, where he was greeted by the Seaside Society group – schoolgirls Seren Bell, Imogen Boasman and Ellena Jones, all aged 11, who took part in this year’s Humberside Police Lifestyle project.
The girls spoke to Luke about their efforts to collect as much litter as possible from the beach and town before disposing of it or recycling it in the correct manner. They also shared their hopes of raising £500 to install a litter-picking station near the Pier Towers. This would include accessible litter-pickers and bin bags so anyone could do beach cleans at any time.
The girls said: “We did this to make it a better place for everyone.”
Their short presentation concluded with two donations of £200 towards the cost of the litter-picking station from both Councillor Lyn Healing and an anonymous donor at a previous town council meeting who had heard of the girls’ efforts to raise money through a bun sale. The rest of the costs will be met by Withernsea Lions.
Luke said: “It is good that groups are continuing to do this because it shows that people are becoming more aware of the problem, which is massive. The ways we start dealing with the problem are in small, incremental ways. These girls will soon be of voting age, and they will have an even bigger influence on the world.”
In his presentation, Luke revealed the amount of plastic he’d found on Withernsea beach that morning, including a deflated foil balloon, plastic cellophane wrapping and a polystyrene food tray.
He suggested that a major cause for the sheer volume of shoreline plastic was the “magnet effect”, where rubbish left behind by some individuals has the knock-on effect of others thinking it is OK do to so.
Luke said he would continue to appeal to councils across the UK, with the next stop on his journey being North Yorkshire.