Leave No Trace Brighton's story
Leave No Trace Brighton is a community interest company (CIC) founded by a group of local beach lovers that campaign to raise awareness of environmental issues and take action to protect our beaches and green spaces.
Covid-19 has meant that we are using our beautiful natural spaces more than ever before, but this has resulted in a massive increase in rubbish left. Not only is this unsightly and unnecessary, but it is also damaging to our environment and harmful to wildlife. Brighton and Hove City Council collected a staggering 100 tonnes of rubbish from our seafront in the first 17 days of June 21. A vast percentage of this waste, most of it single-use plastic packaging, was left on the beach by members of the public.
We aim to educate, encourage, and empower individuals, communities, and businesses to reduce, recycle or properly dispose of rubbish so our beaches, green spaces, and seas can be clean for everyone to enjoy.
By signing the Leave No Trace Brighton Pledge we aim to motivate both visitors and locals to make a difference by taking three simple actions: to dispose of their rubbish responsibly; to carry/use a reusable cup; to collect, clear, and responsibly dispose of three pieces of rubbish each time they visit Brighton's beaches/green spaces.
These easy but vital steps will collectively make a huge environmental impact while creating an opportunity for discussion and dialogue.
Waste reduction is key in our effort to minimise our carbon footprint and reduce ocean pollution, so we have developed Brighton's first single-use packaging 'environmental impact warning sticker' These will be found on single-use coffee cups and food packaging in the area. We hope that these stickers will help people to think more responsibly about packaging.
We also sell our branded reusable cups on our website to make the switch easy along with litter pickers to help everyone join in with our beach cleans.
Another threat to our marine environment is waste created by the fishing industry. From the vast amounts of fishing line and net washed up on our beaches to the unseen destruction caused by bottom trawling. We are speaking with experts, campaigners, and scientists to produce a film about the action we need to take to protect our seas for future generations. Our first step is the successful installation of recycling systems on the seafront which allow fishing line and net to be repurposed.‚ÄÇ
We are proud that we are not only making a physical difference to our environment but also having a positive impact on people's mental health and emotional well-being.
Useful learnings from Leave No Trace Brighton
Just get started – Make that first small step, in whatever form that takes, to get the ball rolling and inspire further change. It's also important to keep that action simple, achievable, and to inspire others to get involved. The ripple effect of social media can be amazing.
Create collaborative partnerships – We have been fortunate to partner with committed and dedicated organisations that make a huge difference to the impact we can make – these include Digital Detox who helped us with the tech and digital campaign for Brighton pledge and Planet Mark who have raised awareness of environmental issues through their Zero Carbon Tour. We also have a local council that shares our goals and is supportive of community groups taking action for the environment.
Reach out via social media and marketing – Our #take3forthesea campaign on Instagram has shown the power of social media in reaching a much wider audience, with people incentivised by a prize draw when they tag us in photos. Our campaign at Brighton train station was also successful in reaching visitors arriving for day trips or holidays.
Leave No Trace Brighton's metrics
Reduction in waste collected by the council year on year to assess impact.
Number of volunteer beach cleaners taking part in the #take3forthesea Instagram campaign.
Number of recycling tubes installed.