Cleaning your favourite beach will make you part of a global marine litter movement

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 16 July 2013

Cleaning your favourite beach will make you part of a global marine litter movement International coastal clean-up could take place on your doorstep - are you ready to take it on? The UK’s leading marine charity is urging people who love the coast and enjoy nothing better than a barefoot stroll along the beach to do their bit in the worldwide fight against marine litter.

Cleaning your favourite beach will make you part of a global marine litter movement International coastal clean-up could take place on your doorstep - are you ready to take it on? The UK’s leading marine charity is urging people who love the coast and enjoy nothing better than a barefoot stroll along the beach to do their bit in the worldwide fight against marine litter. MCS will be running it’s 20th annual Beachwatch Big Weekend beach cleaning event between the 20th and 23rd September and the charity hopes this years clean up will put the UK in the top 20 of the 100 or so participating countries and regions which take part in the International Coastal Clean-up during the same weekend every year. “As an island nation, where many communities rely on the cleanliness of beaches for their coastal economy, beach litter and the problems it causes to both humans and wildlife is being largely ignored both by the public and local and national authorities,” says MCS Beachwatch Officer, Lauren Eyles. “In the last 20 years beach litter has steadily risen. Our volunteers clean and survey the litter on hundreds of beaches every September, making this survey the most respected and long standing in the UK, but we need more people to host cleans at new beaches as well as at existing beaches on our database. The more beaches we have litter data for, the clearer the picture we will have of where it all comes from and what we can do about it.” The MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend is part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-up. Last year volunteers, at beaches all over the world, covered a distance of nearly 18,000 miles and collected weird finds ranging from lottery tickets to toothbrushes. In the UK 240 beaches were cleaned covering almost 56 miles. “We would love to see 300 beaches cleaned in 2013,” says Lauren Eyles. “Anyone wishing to run a beach clean will get lots of help from MCS and get everything they need from our Beachwatch online interactive website. The coast isn’t just for a week’s holiday “it’s for all year round. Our volunteer numbers put us at 24th out of 97 countries last year; it would be great to break into the top 20 or even higher!” If you would like to get involved in an event that will benefit your favourite beach and help the issue of beach litter globally, visit www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch, email:: beachwatch@mcsuk.org or call the Beachwatch team on 01989 567807

Actions you can take

  1. Organise a beach clean
  2. Visit the beachwatch website
  3. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017
  4. Join a beach clean

Did you know?…

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

Every year, volunteers give us over 1,000 days of their time

Around 40% of UK beach litter can be directly sourced to the public

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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