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Heading to the beach?
Check our Good Beach Guide before you go...
The problem with plastic...
From bags to microbeads, plastic litter is choking our seas
Hang on to your tackle!
Calling on anglers to keep our coasts and seas tackle-free

Clean seas and beaches

Pollution from sewers, farmland and city streets is a serious concern at a third of the UK's bathing beaches. And beach litter levels continue to be over acceptable levels at nearly 2,000 items for every kilometre on a beach.
 

 

Let's work together to turn the tide on pollution

There's rubbish on our beaches and pollution in our seas. Agricultural and urban run-off, storm waters, misconnected plumbing and dog faeces often end up in the seas we swim in - whilst our passion for plastic is leaving a legacy of litter on our beaches including cotton bud sticks, drinks bottles and plastic bags.

Dangerous to wildlife

Litter and sewage pollution is not only an eyesore but is also a danger to the amazing wildlife in our seas and on our beaches. Action needs to be taken NOW to reduce litter levels on our beaches by half by 2020 and to see a drop in sewage pollution.

Making a difference

We have successfully campaigned for single use carrier bag levies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have also been instrumental in instigating a marine litter strategy in Northern Ireland, a first for the UK!

But more needs to be done and YOU can help. 

Every year we work with thousands of volunteers across the UK to monitor the litter on our beaches through our Beachwatch programme. Using the data we collect from our surveys, we work on areas of particular concern, such as plastic bags and balloon and lantern releases.

We also report on the state of our bathing waters through the Good Beach Guide and encourage water companies, local authorities and regulators to work together to improve bathing water quality.

Read more about the problem - and find out about some of the solutions.  

 

Latest news for Clean seas and beaches

Latest news image - Record number of UK bathing beaches have excellent water quality
posted - 2014-04-16

Record number of UK bathing beaches have excellent water quality

The latest MCS Good Beach Guide has recommended 538 UK bathing beaches for their excellent water quality - 135 more than the previous year. Just 14 beaches failed to reach minimum water quality standards Read more

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Latest news image - Break the Bag Habit launch pledge website
posted - 2014-04-09

Break the Bag Habit launch pledge website

MCS and our Break the Bag Habit partners have launched a pledge website to encourage people to pledge to stop using single-use bags. 10.6B bags will be handed out before a charge is implemented in England Read more

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Latest news image - MCS disappointed over challenges to Beachwatch figures in Wales
posted - 2014-04-02

MCS disappointed over challenges to Beachwatch figures in Wales

MCS rejects claims that Beachwatch data is misleading and inaccurate. CEO says litter issue must be brought to public’s attention to encourage behaviour change Read more

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Latest news image - Disgusting tide of litter threatens UK beaches
posted - 2014-04-11

Disgusting tide of litter threatens UK beaches

Our latest Beachwatch report reveals the highest number of litter items per kilometre surveyed in the project's 20 year history. Welsh and North West beaches are worst, whilst Scotland and the South West are below the national average. Read more

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Latest news image - Big Beach Clean-up is back!
posted - 2014-03-05

Big Beach Clean-up is back!

Let's get our storm-battered beaches ready for summer! Register now for the Big Beach Clean-up > 24th-30th April 2014. Read more

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Latest news image - Can you take on the Plastic Challenge?
posted - 2014-02-27

Can you take on the Plastic Challenge?

Could you live plastic free for Lent? Or give up ‘single use’ plastic for 1 day, 1 week or more? We’ve got lots of ways to get involved and raise awareness of the impacts of plastic litter.  Read more

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