Supermarket trolleys, Russian toothpaste, and an old shop till - just a few of the weird items that have washed up on British beaches.

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 26 July 2012

Supermarket trolleys, Russian toothpaste, and an old shop till - just a few of the weird items that have washed up on British beaches.

Supermarket trolleys, Russian toothpaste, and an old shop till - just a few of the weird items that have washed up on British beaches. Thousands of items, some bizarre, some boring and some plain hazardous were collected by MCS volunteers and Marks and Spencer (M & S) staff and customers during the first ever Big Beach Clean-up weekend. The event, as part of the Forever Fish partnership which has seen MCS join forces with high street retailer M & S to help reduce plastic bag use and increase people’s understanding of the need to eat sustainable fish, took place in May, with the results published this week. today. MCS Beachwatch Officer, Lauren Davies, says the event was a real success, bringing together people who previously may not have realised the huge litter problem that affects the cleanliness and safety of our beaches: “Around 6,000 volunteers cleaned over 100 beaches and a number of inland waterways between the 7th and 13th May this year. Litter items were recorded at 75 of these beaches, where over 3,500 volunteers picked up almost 78,000 items of litter, with well over 4,000 bits of rubbish in every kilometre that was cleaned.” The survey volunteers filled almost 1,500 bags with litter which included some very strange items. MCS says that among the most unusual were: two shopping trolleys, a bible, car gear stick, Russian toothpaste, vampire teeth, a vacuum cleaner, pink thong, a suitcase, three tents (not erected!), part of a Chinese medical certificate, a dog collar and lead, Christmas tree lights, an old shop till and a plastic hamster. Lauren Davies says the items most commonly found were the ‘usual suspects’. with bits of plastic topping the list of ten most frequently found items: “Plastic pieces, glass pieces, crisp and sweet packets, caps and lids, string and cord, polystyrene pieces, bits of clothing, anglers fishing line, cigarette stubs and cotton buds were our top ten finds. If MCS and its volunteers didn’t clean and survey British beaches, we would not be able to continue to pressurize the authorities into keeping marine and beach litter on the agenda. Our surveys reveal where the rubbish on our beaches come from. If we can stop the litter at source we can make beaches in the UK cleaner and safer places for tourists and visitors.” The M & S Big Beach Clean-up is part of M & S’ Forever Fish campaign which is funded by the 5p carrier bag charge in M & S foodhalls. Since its introduction in 2008, the charge has reduced carrier bag use by 80 per cent and raised over รบ4 million for charity. In total, 6,000 volunteers and staff cleared materials from the nations’ beaches and inland waterways, collecting 3,200 bags of rubbish. MCS hopes more people than ever will take part in this years Beachwatch Big Weekend, 14th - 17th September. Find out more at http://bit.ly/aZ1YUc Ends

Actions you can take

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

Did you know?…

MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters

It’s estimated that one rubbish truck load of plastic litter enters the ocean every minute

Since the carrier bag charge came in across the UK, the Great British Beach Clean has recorded 40% fewer bags on beaches

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.

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