© Jack Holt

Great British Beach Clean 2017 results

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 30 November 2017
Beach litter
© Natasha Ewins

Massive thanks to everyone who took part! Whether you’ve organised an event or simply turned up on the day and got to grips with gloves and litter pickers for the first time, your support is absolutely incredible!

Lizzie Prior,
MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer

Almost 7,000 people took part in the Great British Beach Clean in September 2017. Together, we removed 255,209 pieces of litter from 339 beaches, and recorded every bit for this report.

On average, that makes 718 pieces of rubbish for every 100m stretch of beach we cleaned. Sadly, that’s a 10% rise compared with the previous year.

As with previous years, tiny bits of plastic were the most common items found, and in greater numbers than last year.

Litter from foods and drinks, usually used just once and thrown away, made up at least 20% of all of the rubbish we picked up. 138 pieces of “on the go” litter were found, on average, for every 100m of beach surveyed.

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The Marine Conservation Society would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their support of our beach litter work. Postcode Lottery Logo

Actions you can take

  1. Join a beach clean
  2. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2018
  3. Organise a beach clean
  4. Visit the beachwatch website
  5. Help us stop the plastic tide

Did you know?…

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is thought to be 6 times the size of the UK

Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles

MCS launched its Beachwatch programme in 1994

Why not join a beach clean ... or organise one?

To date, our beach clean volunteers have removed 6 million pieces of litter from our beaches and collected marine litter data to support our campaigns for cleaner seas and beaches.

Learn more and join a beach clean