The coronavirus global pandemic is affecting us all
And as habits change, new litter items are appearing on our beaches.
Masks were only made mandatory in shops in England in July, but in just three months 30% of the beaches we cleaned during our Great British Beach Clean had PPE on them.
This is a massive cause of concern for us…because if left unchecked, that figure is only going to continue to rise as items travel from inland to sea. Almost 70% of our inland litter picks found PPE litter.
Disposable masks pose a huge threat to wildlife. Made from polypropylene that can take hundreds of years to break down, they shed microplastics that can be ingested by marine life whilst sea birds can become entangled in the ear straps.
We cannot allow our coastline to become a dumping ground for masks, gloves and face shields.
Now, more than ever, we need your support to help keep our beaches beautiful and our seas pollution free.
Like so many charities we’re feeling the pinch - our income is 30% down and we need all the help we can get to keep our beach clean and litter survey programme running. Because we have to do smaller, private cleans, we need to invest more money in recruiting and training organisers to run them.
Despite a global pandemic our volunteers are still running beach cleans all around the UK, collecting data that we know makes a difference.
We have successfully campaigned for single-use items including plastic cotton bud sticks and straws to be banned in recent years, supported by data collected every year by our dedicated volunteers.
However, drinks litter was found at 99% of our inland surveys this year. On our beaches we found an average of 30 items per 100 metres of beach we surveyed! That leaves us in no doubt that Deposit Return Schemes for drinks bottles and cans must happen soon across the UK…not just in Scotland, where one is due to start in July 2022.
Please help us to stop PPE on beaches getting out of control and to make sure that we can still deal with other single-use items that have no business on our beaches.
Please donate today
Your donation will help us keep beach litter in check and continue our vital work, wherever the need is greatest. Thank you