When it is safe to go back on the beach - why not treat your favourite bit of coastline to a winter clean-up?

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 27 January 2014

When it’s safe to go back on the beach - why not treat your favourite bit of coastline to a winter clean-up? After a Christmas and New Year period that saw Britain battered by high winds, lashing rain and storm waves believed to be amongst the most extreme in living memory, many of the UK’s beaches have been left strewn with huge amounts of litter.

When it’s safe to go back on the beach - why not treat your favourite bit of coastline to a winter clean-up? After a Christmas and New Year period that saw Britain battered by high winds, lashing rain and storm waves believed to be amongst the most extreme in living memory, many of the UK’s beaches have been left strewn with huge amounts of litter. MCS says now is a good time to get out on the beach and really make a difference. Lauren Eyles, MCS Beachwatch Officer, says some beaches have been left in a terrible state, but just a few trips and a couple of bin bags could really help: “When it comes to beach cleaning, every little helps. We would urge people to visit their local or favourite beach and pick up some of the rubbish that has either been blown there by the strong winds or washed in by the unusually high tides. “After storms, the strandline is often higher up the beach than normal and on some beaches that our staff and volunteers have already cleaned we’ve seen much more litter than is usual at this time of the year, Ø Lauren continues. “Now is a really good time to become a Beachwatch Organiser and get family and friends together down on the beach. MCS needs all the information it can get about where litter on our beaches comes from and by organising a clean and filling out a survey form you can help our campaigns to stop beach litter. Ø “Now is a really good time to become a Beachwatch Organiser and get family and friends together down on the beach” Plastic bits and pieces have been appearing on our beaches in increasing numbers for over two decades, but storms like the ones we have seen in the last month mean that many unusual items are likely to have been washed up and need clearing away - and some could cause harm to wildlife or human visitors. “Hundreds of species accidentally eat or become entangled in litter. Litter on our beaches is also hazardous to people - syringes, sharp glass can all pose a real threat, Ø says Lauren Eyles. MCS says it’s easy to get cleaning, involving basic equipment such as bin liners and rubber gloves, and the permission of the beach owner - often the local council. If you would like to find out more about how you start beach cleaning then visit www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch where you can download a survey form to record what you find.

Actions you can take

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

Did you know?…

Globally, plastic litter has reached every part of the world’s oceans

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%

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

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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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