2 Minute Beach Clean: in the past six years, the campaign removed hundreds of tonnes of litter from beaches | Photo: 2 Minute Foundation

This week, the 2 Minute Foundation celebrates its transition from non-profit to charity, after six years of campaigning to inspire beachgoers and lovers of the great outdoors to take two minutes out of their day to make a difference.

Their #2minutebeachclean campaign began in 2013 after ferocious Atlantic storms left the north Cornwall coast littered with plastic debris from the deep.

Looking for help with the cleanup, founder Martin Dorey, a writer and surfer, turned to social media.

Using the #2minutebeachclean hashtag for the first time, Martin posted pictures of beach litter in the hope that others would join in. They did.

To date, there have been 127,000 pictures posted to Instagram, with countless others posted to Facebook and Twitter, amounting to hundreds of tonnes of beach litter removed from beaches, waterways, and outdoor spaces worldwide.

In 2014, the organization set up eight unique beach cleaning stations to make it easier for beachgoers to get involved.

They were so successful - resulting in a 61 percent drop in litter picked up on monthly cleanups on Crooklets beach in Bude - that there are now 800 #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick and #2minutestreetclean stations (and even a trial coffee cup collecting station) around the UK and Ireland.

Litter bags for some stations have been made from discarded festival tents to stop them from going to landfills, in partnership with Leopalloza Festival and Rooted Ocean.

As well as being featured on BBC's Springwatch and Autumnwatch, the #2minutebeachclean campaign was named as "the top way to get involved with ocean conservation" by the Blue Planet 2 website after the Attenborough program raised the important issue of plastic in our seas.

A Huge Success

In 2019 the campaign extended to prevention with the #2minutesolution and the publishing of "No More Plastic," Dorey's best-selling book about reducing plastic consumption.

"The success of the #2minutebeachclean campaign shows that small actions can add up to make a big difference," says Dorey.

"While we might not be able to save the planet on our own, our campaign encourages everyone to play their part. We know that collective actions can make a real difference."

Being granted charity status will allow the 2 Minute Foundation to do more, inspiring people all over the world to take two minutes out of their day to clear up the world's beaches, oceans, parks, streets, and outdoor spaces.

"Our team has worked hard to inspire people to do their bit, and we hope that being awarded charity status will enable us to do even more," adds Nicola Green, COO of the new charity.

"The oceans are under huge pressure from plastic waste and need us to clear up and prevent it from getting worse. Our work makes it easy for people to get involved and is always positive because we believe that every action can make a difference."

"2020 will be an important year for us as we begin life as a charity," Nicola continues, "as we already have plans for a network of volunteer Guardian Angels to look after our beach cleaning stations in the South West, thanks to an exciting new relationship with, and funding from, Swedish eco-clothing brand Fjӓllrӓven."

"We're also working with long-time partners Surfdome, as well as Lush, Bunzl, Love, Beauty, and Planet, and Boshers to put more stations in places that really need them. There's a lot of litter out there!"

Plastics: a threat to the marine ecosystem | Photo: 2 Minute Foundation

How to Get Involved

It's easy to be part of the 2 Minute Movement. There are no joining fees, and it takes just two minutes.

See litter. Pick it up. Bag it. Recycle it, if possible. If not, bin it.

Snap it and tag it on social media using #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick, or #2minutestreetclean.

Borrow litter picking equipment from a #2minutebeachclean station. Find your nearest at www.2minute.org/boardsmap.

Log your litter using the #2minutebeachclean app. Find it by searching for "beachclean."

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