Clean Seas

Our actions have implications for pollution in the ocean, which in turn impacts our health and welfare. We need to move away from a throwaway society to a circular economy in which all products are designed to be repaired, reused and remade, thereby removing waste and litter.

The Clean Seas programme has been a leader in reducing marine pollution over the last decade. We have advocated for change which has led to charges for single-use bags, removal of microbeads in personal care products, changes in labelling on commonly ‘mis-flushed’ items, and a deposit return system being designed for Scotland.

Our oceans continue to need our protection, with rising temperatures and changes in chemistry due to our carbon emissions. We need to reduce the pressures on our oceans. Learn about our campaigns and join the fight.

Microplastics

Microplastics can be ingested by everything from zooplankton which make up the base of the food chain in the oceans, all the way up to seabirds, fish and turtles.


© Anna Popovic

Water quality

By highlighting where beaches were too dirty for people to swim, we put pressure on governments and environmental regulators for better legislation.


© Ant Rozetsky

Circular oceans

We are all connected to the oceans, from the food we eat, the air we breathe.


Straws

Plastic makes up around 70% of beach litter. Our campaign targets the huge consumption of single-use straws in the UK.


Deposit Return System
#wildbottlesighting

Reducing plastic bottles on our beaches
could be a benefit of a deposit return system.
Our surveys show plastic drinks bottles are frequently among the top four litter items found on UK beaches.


Wetwipes Monster
© Laura Foster

Unflushables - Wet Wipes Turn Nasty

When flushed, wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper and they typically contain plastics. This means once they reach the sea, they stick around for a very long time.


More information and campaigns to get behind…


Near you, incorporating the Good Beach Guide

Discover beaches (along with their water quality and facilities), Fish2fork rated restaurant, events and recent wildlife sightings close to your UK postcode.

Find out more

Marine Litter Action Network

The Marine Litter Action Network was established in June 2014 to bring together people and their organisations across different sectors to tackle the issue of marine litter.

Find out more

Don’t let go

Balloons sold as ‘degradable’ are known to last a number of months, even years, and pose a choking threat to wildlife at sea, and on land.

Learn more

Did you know?…

We removed 568,000 pieces of litter from our coasts in one year

Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%

MCS in partnership with Waitrose

We’re running hundreds of clean-up events during our famous Great British Beach Clean weekend from Friday 15 to Monday 18 September with loads more taking place throughout the year.

Anyone can volunteer, so get involved at an event near you!

Get involved now

Stop the plastic tide

Support our appeal to turn the tide on plastics.

Find out more