Beach Cleaning Charity Think Drones Can Help Them Tackle Litter

Beach Cleaning Charity Think Drones Can Help Them Tackle Litter

Beach Cleaning Charity Think Drones
Can Help Them Tackle Litter

A beach cleaning charity on the Isle of Man has suggested that drones could be used to help them find hidden litter around the coastline.

Beach Buddies want to use the drones to help them access litter in hard to reach areas like coves with the help of local kayakers.

Drone projects have already been used in England and Scotland to produce a map of the impact that plastic rubbish is having on coastlines.

The challenge of collecting marine litter

Spotting the rubbish is far easier than collecting it though. Beach Buddies’ 10,000 volunteers collect more than 200 tonnes of rubbish from the Isle of Man’s coastline each year, but there are a lot of inaccessible coves around the island. To solve this problem, the charity have teamed up with the Isle of Man Sea Kayaking Club so that they can go into the coves and retrieve the litter.

So who are Beach Buddies?

Beach Buddies was founded in October 2006 when two people were walking their dogs on the beach at Kirk Michael on the west coast of the island. They were stunned at the amount of litter they saw during their walk, and they resolved to do something about it.

In the next six weeks, they collected hundred of bags of rubbish, which included some materials that were as much as 30 years old.

Beach Buddies operated on a small scale for several years before using social media to attract more volunteers to help their cause.

35 people turned to their first beach cleaning event in 2013, then another 40 people joined in with an event in another location, and by the end of the year, the charity had almost 1500 volunteers, from staff from local businesses to scouts, guides, and school pupils and staff. At the end of 2017, volunteer numbers rocketed to 8000.

Thanks to the charity and its dedicated volunteers, the Isle of Man now has some of the cleanest beaches in Britain.


Drone used to clean beach


Success stories

In 2016 Beach Buddies was called “an excellent example” of how to tackle marine litter by UNESCO. It has also received an honour from the Queen for “Services to the Marine Environment”.

Not only that, Beach Buddies has been asked to speak about what it’s achieved at Universities across the UK and US, as well as New Zealand and Australia.

Recognised around the world

Beach Buddies’ founders say that their approach to tackling marine litter is simple. They get groups of friends and like-minded people to come together and host clean up events, attract sponsors to raise funds for equipment, and spread the word via local media. Now the charity has been recognised around the world.

You can find out more about the charity at