If we all had the chance to see the immense amount of trash floating like small islands throughout the sea, we’d be horrified. Animals and ecosystems are increasingly at risk, and unless humans make a massive effort to lower the amount of waste disposal, it’s going to get way worse.
When Storm Eleanor hit the coast of the United Kingdom in 2018, tons of trash washed ashore, littering the beaches. An 8-year-old joined in the cleanup effort, but while sifting through the piles of rubbish, he came across something that he only thought possible in the movies.
It hardly sounds believable, but by 2050, more plastic will live in the ocean than fish. And when massive storms batter coastlines, the mountains of beached trash they leave in their wake is proof.
And in 2018, a violent storm named Storm Eleanor battered the coastline of the United Kingdom. The 100-mph winds brought rain, and hail hammered the local town relentlessly. The damage it caused was immense.
Trees were uprooted, entire sections of the road collapsed, and thousands of people were left without power for days. But, the beaches saw some of the most alarming messes.
Tons of garbage that was littering the ocean near the coast was churned up and carried onto the beaches. Not only was it disgusting, but it was an embarrassing example of how little people cared about their own environment.
A local man devised a plan to clean up the beaches, and he reached out to the people who lived along the coastline, looking for groups of volunteers to help. It would take a massive effort, but in the end, everyone wanted their beaches looking beautiful again.
A man named Nick Crooks learned of the cleanup effort and wanted to help. He brought along his two boys, figuring it was a great chance to show his children how important taking care of the environment was.
Nick was made aware of how dire the garbage situation in the ocean was when he watched the BBC documentary Blue Planet II. The footage of struggling animals inspired him to take action to clean up the water.
So Stanbury Beach was where the three started their efforts. They, along with dozens of other volunteers, made their way down the coastline bagging up the trash. Nick’s eight-year-old son, Noah, was scooping up plastic bottles, and he saw one that stood out.
It was an empty green Sprite bottle resting on its side, but it looked like it had something stuffed inside. Noah called his dad and brother over before opening it up. The three of them stared down in shock at what came out.
It was a perfectly intact handwritten letter! It was from a 10-year-old girl named Jacquie Chmilar, and she left her parents’ contact info at the very bottom for whoever found it. She ended the letter with, “If found, call or email please.” Noah knew what to do.