One subject that unites all the marine conservation organisations in Cornwall is the issue of ocean plastic.

The Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition came into being in 2016, with Rame Peninsula Beach Care being instrumental in forming this specific working group, which started among members of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Your Shore network. We felt we could make more of a difference by joining forces to give us more clout in lobbying work with authorities and corporations.

Over the next year, the coalition grew and grew, to the point where it now includes well over 30 environmental and beach cleaning organisations and marine science experts, including the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the National Trust in Cornwall, Truro Cathedral and the RSPB. Between us, we represent the concerns of tens of thousands of people in Cornwall and beyond.

The idea is to harness the many amazing skills and specialist knowledge of the different groups and individuals. We generally work through template letters that can be sent out quickly in response to different issues and incidents, for example organisations’ corporate balloons found on Cornwall’s beaches. We also produce reports, respond to government consultations, carry out interviews about plastic pollution and give talks and presentations – including in Parliament and at the European Commission.

We meet twice a year, and the main areas we act on are:

  • Balloon releases
  • Microplastics, including pellet losses from local plastic plants, and cosmetic microbeads. Particular focus on biobeads (plastic pellets used in wastewater treatment and found in vast numbers on Cornish beaches), with an in-depth report on this issue published in October 2017, which can found here
  • Single use plastics, particularly bottles – supporting Surfers Against Sewage’s Message in a Bottle campaign, calling for the introduction of a bottle deposit scheme (DRS) to reduce bottle related litter.

You can find the Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

To date, the members of the Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition are: 

2 Minute Foundation

@Refresh Porthleven

A Greener Bude

Atlantic Diver

Beach Guardian CIC

British Divers Marine Life Rescue

Capturing our Coast

Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter (Penryn Campus)

Clean Ocean Sailing

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Cornwall Climate Care

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Cornwall Federation of WIs

*Environment Plymouth

Exeter & Falmouth University Students Union

Falmouth Marine Conservation

Fathoms Free

Fishing for Litter South West

Friends of Par Beach

Friends of Poldhu

Friends of Polurrian Beach

Friends of Portheras Cove

Friends of St. Andrews Wetlands Reserve

Friends of The Fowey Estuary

Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area

Ghost Fishing UK

Ghostnet Busters

Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

Lizard Peninsula Friends of the Earth

Looe Marine Conservation Group

Love Portreath

Mounts Bay Marine Group


National Trust in Cornwall

*Newquay Crab

Newquay Marine Group

Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing

One Bag Beach Clean

Perranporth Marine Conservation Group

PL24 Community Association

Plastic Free Falmouth

Plastic Free Plymouth Waterfront

Plastic Free Helford River

Polzeath Marine Conservation Group

Prof. Brendan J. Godley, Chair in Conservation Science

Prof. Richard Thompson (Plymouth University Marine Sciences Dept.)

Rame Peninsula Beach Care

Rame Wildlife Group


ReFill Cornwall


Saltash Environmental Action 

St Agnes VMCA

Smartie Lids on the Beach


Surfers Against Sewage

Sustainable St Agnes

The Children’s Sailing Trust

The Final Straw Cornwall

*The Plastic Movement

Three Bays Wildlife Group

Transition Falmouth

Transition St Agnes

Transition Truro

Truro Cathedral

Truro Green Street Volunteers

West Cornwall Friends of the Earth

Widemouth Task Fo