Murals will be created throughout Margate in bid to make town plastic free

A previous work by artist Louis Masai who joins the Rise Up Residency campaign

Litter picking and community group Rise Up, Clean Up, Margate has teamed up with town resident and acclaimed artist, Louis Masai to bring creatives, commerce and community together in a bid to make Margate plastic free.

Dubbed the ‘Rise Up Residency’ 17 contemporary artists from around the world have descended on Margate this month to create multiple painted murals, each one with a message dedicated to raising awareness of ocean conservation and the issues caused by plastic in and near our oceans.

In the last two years, more than 3000kg of rubbish has been collected from Margate main sands, the majority of which is single use plastic and packaging.

Isle businesses have embraced the art-led-activism and have joined forces with residents as well as the artists to offer workshops and events during the first weekend of October to help everyone do their bit to reduce waste.

Work by artist ‘Smug’ who will create a piece in the town

Each installation has dedicated partners, ranging from climate NGOs such as Sea Shepherd, to sustainable  brands, including  NatraCare, a company producing eco-friendly product alternatives for periods, as well as a variety of local businesses and National Cultural Centre, People Dem Collective.

Work by artist Scotty Bravo, who will create a piece in the town

Each mural will be carefully mapped-out throughout Margate in order to create the biggest impact within the community. Virtual and printable tour maps will be available on the Rise Up website for those who want to follow the trail. There will also be additional activities for kids which will make for a fun day out, especially during half term.

Rise Up founder Amy Cook said: “We have embarked on a mission to clean up Margate’s beaches and protect our stunning local coastline, ocean and our native wildlife. However, just cleaning up what people leave behind isn’t enough. We need genuine systemic change that looks to eliminate the problem at the source.

“My hope is that the Rise Up Residency, leads to changes in policy and actions that can help to usher in an era where Margate becomes single-use plastic free.

“Beyond that, I hope other seaside towns will follow suit and together we can help to bring about real change and preserve our gorgeous coastline for generations to come.”

Work by artist ‘DouDou’ who will create a piece in the town

Artist Louis Masai added: “When creatives, communities and commercial entities work together for the common good, the results can be genuinely astounding.

“While we’re waving the flag through street art and installations, we want other coastal communities to tap into their own authentic creativity and use the Rise Up Residency as a template to host their form of community activism.

“Whether it’s music, art, theatre or poetry, focusing on the message and coming together as one is what will bring about the change we all need to see for a healthier, kinder regenerative future.”

Work by Catherine Chinatree. who will create a piece in the town

Daniel Webb, Founder of Everyday Plastic added: “Coastal towns feel the effects of the plastic crisis more keenly than anywhere else. What’s great about Margate is that it has an active and diverse community which not only recognises the impact of the plastic crisis, but also feels galvanised to do something to tackle it.

Mural map

“It’s clear we cannot rely on the government to implement the necessary actions to make the change happen. Which is why it is local businesses that are integral to pushing forward change and offering flexibility and solutions to the community.”

For more information and the mural map, visit  from  September 23. Artists will be creating their works from September 25-October 2.

To keep in touch with the project and other activities from Rise Up Clean Up, please visit


  1. I suggest you contact all local fish & chip shops and get them to stop using polystyrene trays when serving take-aways.

    • Or for those that do use cardboard recyclable boxes for fish and chips, it all ends up in the main general waste bin in any case which kind of renders the whole thing a bit of a waste of time.

    • Thanks for the suggestion – we do in fact speak to many of the local businesses about their use of plastic & are trying to encourage them to change to alternatives where possible. We recently surveyed 70+ business all along the main sands (from Sun Deck to Harbour Arm) and many are trying to make changes. The more the public ask for this, the better. So please do speak to them too!

    • This is costing the taxpayer NOTHING.
      All funding raised privately from donors and businesses.
      This is something beautiful that we hope will be enjoyed by the local community and raise awareness about ocean conservation and issues around single plastic use.

  2. Ironically they seem to be spraying plastic paint on buildings – some of them historic sites.

    The one on the Old Bakehouse next to the listed Draper’s Windmill is particularly awful and pointless.

    • All walls have been prepared with carbon absorbing paint. This paint is free from carcinogens and other toxic substances and absorbs CO2 from the air – cleaning the air we breathe. We are doing a carbon calculation for the whole project – which will be on the website when the project is finished – if you’d like to know more.
      We’re sorry to hear you don’t like the mural at Drapers Windmill – this has been done by a local artist and we’ve had lots of positive feedback, especially from the children walking past it to/from school – they love it!

      • It doesn’t exactly live in harmony with the historic mill and the bakehouse which it has defaced.

        The mill and bakery were a true example of sustainability. Grain grown in the surrounding fields, ground renewable wind energy and baked into bread in the adjoining bakehouse. Bought and eaten within yards.

        No need for ‘carbon absorbing paint’.

        It’s in the eye of the beholder, I know, but that mural in that location is an irrelevant eyesore.

        It will do nothing to reduce plastic use and I’d like to see the COSHH and other product data sheets on the materials used.

        • These murals are to raise awareness. Everyone sees something different. To me the one at drapers shows how pollution is killing our coral reefs and draining the colour from them, turning them into black and white.

  3. I don’t mind murals, I may well like ’em. But it’s not clear to me how exactly they’ll contribute to making Margate plastic-free. And re. L.Lawn’s point, will the materials used in creating the work be plastic-free?
    If this is indeed just about local businesses eschewing SINGLE-use plastics, then that’s a laudable but very, very small improvement in a coastal town as our seas are heavily polluted by plastics in general.
    The economy’s in trouble, more and ore people are shopping around and buying whatever’s cheapest regardless of what it’s packaged in. Bijou shops in the Old Town may join in but if places like Morrisons doesn’t get involved – which they won’t – then this is just an in-crowd gimmick.

  4. I think it’s a great idea and also the fact that great current artists are contributing can only be another string to Margate’s bow 🙂

    I would like to add that I have a shop in Ramsgate focused on eco friendly products with reusables and recycled/upcycled products for personal use and the home including a refill station therefore promoting re-use rather than more plastic. We also have child litter pickers for sale! The shop is also click and collect 24/7

    I’ll add the link here (not sure if allowed)

  5. I think this is fantastic and cannot wait to see all the beautful work.
    I am a teacher in a special needs school and we will be visiting and looking at the art work with the students.
    It would be lovely to be able to share information about the artists with them or for them to be able to meet or talk to them on line . Is this possible?

    • If you go on the Rise Up site (link to mural map in the article) and click on the balloons it tells you about each artist

    • Hi Nicky – i work on the Residency – please email me at [email protected] and let’s see if we can arrange something for your students! The artists are here painting till Sunday 2nd October then they go – however our artist lead Louis Masai is based in Margate (as are a few other artists) so am sure he’d be happy to chat/help out with a tour or something. Just get in touch and let’s see what’s best/when is mutually convenient. Sam

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