Why we love Lily Cole’s new #BeachCleanChallenge

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Models, celebs and social media stars, including Lily Cole and Love Island’s Lucie Donlan and Paul Knops, have shown their support for fighting plastic pollution in our oceans, by joining the #BeachCleanChallenge on Instagram with the UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

Lily Cole

The #BeachCleanChallenge aims to show the reality of plastic pollution on beaches around the world; instead of turning the camera away from the plastic which washes up on beaches, Instagram users are ‘capturing the plastic’ and keeping it in shot to show the extent of the problem. Instagrammers then tag five friends to take up the challenge and keep Instagram real.

Sarah Roberts

Striking #BeachCleanChallenge shots have been taken around the world including the UK, Australia, US, Canada, the Philippines and Hawaii with some of the best shots appearing across billboards in London. By showing the reality of plastic pollution on beaches in some of the most beautiful destinations around the world, it is hoped that Instagrammers will take action – taking their own picture for the #BeachCleanChallenge and helping to clear up plastic pollution.

Lucie Donlan Billboard

Canadian fitness guru Wes Myron was inspired to start the #BeachCleanChallenge after the location for a beach photo shoot was found to be covered in plastic. The location had been chosen by scrolling through Instagram shots of the perfect beach, but when the crew arrived to find their perfect beach covered in plastic they opted to take a realistic picture for Instagram of the plastic pollution they had found, before cleaning it up.

Wes Myron

Myron said: “Instagram, at its best, is a great way to inspire people to make the world better, but there’s a lot of pressure to portray a picture-perfect lifestyle, meaning people often hide away the unsightly realities of the world. However, this shows that nothing is as powerful as keeping it real!”

The Rules of The #BeachCleanChallenge:

1. Go to the beach.

2. Get a cool Instagram shot, but keep it real and leave the washed up plastic in the shot.

3. Post the shot, with the hashtag #BeachCleanChallenge, and tag five friends to take on the challenge.

4. Recycle the plastic, of course!

Paul Knops

Every year, the Marine Conservation Society hosts the Great British Beach Clean on beaches across the UK. Taking place 20-23rd September, the Great British Beach Clean is the perfect opportunity to snap your #BeachCleanChallenge picture. To sign up for a beach clean near you, click here.