West Bay Discovery Centre, West Bay, Bridport, DT6 4EN.

Highlights from last year’s ‘Turning the Tide Exhibition’.

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Each pop up exhibition takes a huge amount of staff and volunteer time to research and produce. Community involvement and expertise is essential, we work closely with local experts to get things right and learn so much along the way! When the exhibition is finished we recycle the materials that have been produced and create an information folder that is available for all our visitors to view. This is very well received, particularly by holiday visitors who have a particular interest and want to discover more!

Our Turning the Tide Exhibition ran from May 2021 – February 2022. Just over 10,000 visitors viewed our informative and thought provoking exhibition devoted to plastic. The exhibition folder can now be viewed in the Centre and gives information about where plastic comes from and how it is made and the impact it is having on the environment and our own health and wellbeing.

Here we look at some of the exhibition highlights.

1) The history of plastic.

Plastic has its origins from 1873 when the celluloid the first semi-synthetic plastic was produced. Our timeline documented how over time the usage and demand for plastic had reached unimaginable levels.

2) The problems with plastics.

Plastic is really useful but we are using far too much of it! Plastics take hundreds of years to break down and even then microscopic fragments remain, worse still half of the plastic goods we produce are made to be used only ONCE. We show how plastics are effecting our local environment.

3) We can all help to stop Plastic pollution!

There are easy ways that all of us can live with less plastic. We highlighted the issue of microfibres in our clothes and how we could have reusable protection from Covid19. Many of our volunteers join in with local beach clean and litter picks it’s a great way to show your love for the place you live and meet new people and have fun!

4) What do our children think of plastic pollution?

A separate area of our pop up exhibition was produced by local children showing us how they care for the environment – creating posters with strong messages and wonderful sea creature models produced from plastic waste. Our art workshop attended by 150 children over two days was another way of highlighting the beautiful wildlife and dangerous plastic items in our seas.

5) Highlighting plastic pollution through joint events.

We work closely with other groups and organisations that share our aims reach wider audiences and have lots of fun along the way, some examples include.

  • Meet a Mermaid Day with Clean Jurassic Coast’s very own Mermaid Taurva. The event that resulted in queues outside involved face painting, story telling and a beach clean! It was fantastic to see families joining in and despite the cold still manage to remove bags of rubbish off East Beach.
  • Mayors Civic Day in Bridport On the Mayors Civic Day Mayors and Council leaders from across the county are invited to Bridport to see what the town has to offer. The mayor wanted to share what Bridport is doing to deliver on its Climate Emergency Declaration and choose West Bay Discovery Centre as one of the locations to visit because of our exhibition about the impact of single use plastics on the environment in particular the coast and seas. Mayors were very impressed by the quality of the exhibitions and could be seen engaging with many of the interactive displays, opening drawers and solving some of the challenges.

What our visitors told us:

  • “Wonderful! Very informative and visually appealing. Brilliant especially the plastic project well done!”
  • Always enjoy our visits. Loved the plastic information really informative.”
  • “Lovely exhibition and very interactive which is so good for the kids – education by stealth! Love it!”


Turning the Tide Exhibition helped contribute to our Gold awards in Dorset Tourism Awards and South West Tourism Awards in the Category Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable.

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