Source to Sea Litter Quest

You can take part in the Great British Beach Clean this September, even if you live far from the coast! Did you know that 80% of the litter on beaches around the UK has travelled there from our towns, parks and rivers? Help us stop ocean pollution in its tracks and take part in our new Source to Sea Litter Quest with friends, family, your school or on your own!

Head out with the downloadable form on a quest to spot (and pick up!) common beach litter items in your local area. The plastic bottles, drink cans and face masks spotted in your parks and streets can end up on the beach.

The litter you record on your local clean-up will help us identify and create a snapshot of the litter that is still plaguing our environment, including new single-use items such as PPE.

To keep you as safe as possible when you’re out and about, here’s some health and safety guidance and a risk assessment. Please check and follow the government, and local rules, where you are.

Schools and Groups

If you’re a school or youth group leader, we’re hosting a range of activities for 5-18 year olds throughout the week, including online lessons, the Litter Quest itself and suggestions for follow up activities. If you aren’t able to take part during the week, you can catch up on the live lessons via out YouTube channel and still share your work with our Education Team. For the first time, we’re also sharing our Beachwatch Dataset for older groups to explore. You can download the full education pack below and register for the live lessons at Cool Seas Webinars


Sending us your completed Litter Quest Form

Once you have filled in your Litter Quest form, take a snap of it and either upload it below, or tag us in it on social media using #LitterQuest

Download your Litter Quest Form

You can download your Litter Quest form below and take this with you on your litter quest.

Make sure you’re well prepared for your Litter Quest! Wear sturdy shoes and bring strong gloves (like gardening gloves), and bin bags for what you collect, using a litter picker if you have one. Make sure you have hand sanitiser, waterproofs or sunscreen, whichever is needed, and cover up any cuts. If you, or anyone involved, is showing symptoms of Coronavirus, please stay at home and cancel your quest!

Check and update your risk assessment on the day.

  • Use the Source to Sea Litter Quest card to spot common beach litter inland.
  • Abide by social distancing guidelines: stay 2 metres away from anyone not in your household.
  • Do not touch your face when litter picking, and use your hand sanitiser often.
  • Put any sharp items in a separate bucket or container and not in your bin bag whilst litter picking.

Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, as soon as possible.

Clean your litter picking kit with household disinfectant.

Snap a photo of your Source to Sea Litter Quest card and post it on social media using the hashtag #litterquest or share with us by heading back to this page and uploading a picture of your litter quest card.

  • I've read and will follow the information relating to Health and Safety, including the Coronavirus Health and Safety
  • I've prepared a risk assessment in advance, and will update it on the day
  • I'll tell everyone at the start of the event what they should be aware of, and let MCS know if there are any incidents or accidents
  • I'm organising this event in support of MCS as a charity, and won't use the event for political or personal promotion
  • Anyone joining the event who is under 16 will be closely supervised by their teacher, group leader or other responsible adult