Pirates are sailing the Cornwall coast under the Jolly Roger to remove plastic waste. Clean Ocean Sailing launched in 2017 after “pirate-in-chief” Steve Green was shocked to see plastic flotsam six feet deep on a nearby island, and more than 400 volunteers have since joined the fixed crew of Green, Monika Hertlová, four-year-old Simon and Labrador Rosie on the 60-ton former Dutch icebreaker, Annette. Using smaller kayaks and rowing boats, the group has recorded and removed 500,000 individual pieces of plastic, and Green believes the low-carbon method could work in many other coastal areas. COS has a “rapid response unit” - 20 volunteers who pick up ‘ghost gear’ before it washes back out to sea. Many locals who can’t donate time offer the group goods such as beers, groceries and pasties to help keep the boat afloat and the team energized.

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