Sammie Bailey table - bottle tops in resin MeetMeet section icon

About

This year, on Beach Clean Week, we met daily beach cleaner Sammie Bailey to discuss the importance of keeping our beaches waste free. We gifted Sammie some Ecopoxy Resin and asked her to create a piece of artwork with it using her beach clean plastic finds. Find out how she got on below!

Check out Sammie’s Instagram page ‘The Plastic Coast’ to see what she gets up to in her spare time.

We asked…

How long have you been beach cleaning and what made you want to commit to a beach clean every day?

I started beach cleaning on a much more regular basis in January 2021. I was inspired by 2-minute beach cleans but tried to keep cleaning for longer. I didn’t want to bore people on my personal Instagram with pictures of plastic I found on the beach. Turns out, my beach finds were more interesting than what I got up to at the weekends anyway! I wanted to raise awareness, and inspire people, especially when it came to taking their rubbish with them after a day at the beach. I quickly realised how much it benefited my own mental health. It’s a release to be able to get out in nature and focus on what I can find.

What made you think of making art with your beach clean finds?

I want to show that waste can be a resource. To encourage people to give plastic a ‘second life.’ The aim is to nudge people to look at rubbish and understand its detrimental effects, but also see its potential. Collective action doesn’t have to take place solely on the beach. Our streets, green spaces, and public spaces can all benefit from a bit more compassion.

What do you do when you’re not beach cleaning?

I live in Hove, luckily just 200 yards from the beach. I am a Sister in the NHS and have been working for the NHS for 12 years.
I enjoy cooking vegetarian food, going to events and travelling. I adore dogs and occasionally house sit to look after people’s pooches! It’s all go, but that’s where the beach cleans come in during my spare time, they really give me a chance to get lost in something else.

How did you decide on what to create with the EcoPoxy gifted from Axminster Tools?

I knew from the start I wanted to do an upcycling project. Each one of my artworks contains a “Recycle me” lid. Because of the number of different colours and wording these lids come in, and the quantity in which us beach cleaners find them, I thought I could create an almost pop art like table. I thought it would act as a good conversation starter, plus be useful in the home! I was so pleased with how it turned out and loved how the beach cleaning community came together and sent me lids they had found too.

Was the EcoPoxy Resin straightforward to use and did it produce the desired effect?

I have never used resin before, so I was a bit apprehensive about using it. The EcoPoxy Resin quickly put my worries at ease as it was extremely simple to use. It comes with clear instructions and all the equipment needed. There are also helpful videos online. My advice would be when using resin, set aside enough time and be patient. The resin has a slow setting time which gives you plenty of time to create your projects. If creating a project which requires a lot of resin, do this in layers and ensure is layer is dry before pouring on the next. I am so pleased with how my table has come out and I will absolutely be looking to create more furniture using beach litter and resin in the future.

 

What does the Great British Beach Clean mean to you?

I love communities getting together to tackle these issues. The Great British Beach Clean shows people up and down the country care massively for our environment but it also shows that the issue of plastic waste on our beaches is widespread. I would highly recommended getting involved, it’s honestly done wonders for my own mental health. Not only that, but I have also seen the most amazing wildlife and sometimes have the whole beach to myself! It’s crazy what you can find, almost like a treasure hunt. And it becomes very addictive! If you haven’t tried beach cleaning before, this is a great opportunity to meet like minded people and hopefully create a lifelong hobby!

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