© Jack Holt

Great British Beach Clean 2017 results

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. Visit the beachwatch website
  3. Organise a beach clean
  4. Help us stop the plastic tide
  5. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017

Did you know?…

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

Every day millions of microplastics enter the sea from personal care products such as scrubs and toothpastes

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

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