Young volunteer during Great British Beach Clean on Budleigh Beach GBBC 2017 Andrew Brown

Great British Beach Clean & Source to Sea: Litter Quest

Run a litter pick with your school or group - wherever you are - and use our resources to learn about the impact of litter on the environment

The Great British Beach Clean

Take part in this year's week-long Great British Beach Clean, which runs through the third week of September.

Our annual event sees thousands of people heading out to clear litter and record what they find.

Last year our volunteers found an average of 425 items of litter for every 100 metres of beach surveyed!

To get involved in a beach clean, follow our guide for schools and groups. You can sign up to organise your own clean, or see if there are any happening in your area which your school can join.

Litter being weighed during Great British Beach Clean on Hove beach 2020 Billy Barraclough

Credit: Billy Barraclough

Source to Sea: Litter Quest

If your school isn’t near the coast, no problem! That’s where our Source to Sea: Litter Quest comes in.

Most litter that ends up on our beaches or in the sea starts its journey in villages, towns and cities miles from the coast.

Last year, 70% of litter picks taking place on streets and in parks found PPE litter, and 99% found drinks containers.

Check out our Source to Sea page for more information.

Can on Crantock beach Natasha Ewins

Credit: Natasha Ewins

Why get involved?

It’s not just about keeping our beaches and streets looking good. Our beaches and seas are a haven for an incredible variety of wildlife which are put at risk by pollution. To keep our seas and the animals in them safe, we need your help.

All of the data you collect on the beach, on your street or in a local park helps us campaign for change, and your school can help turn the tide on ocean pollution.

You can run your own beach clean or Litter Quest anytime throughout the year, but take part during the third week of September to join a community of thousands of people all working to clean up our streets and beaches.

Children litter picking during the Great British Beach Clean on Rottingdean Beach 2020 Billy Barraclough

Credit: Billy Barraclough

Our education resources

We're encouraging schools to take part so students can see the impact of litter on our environment first hand.

We have designed a cross-curricula education pack, where each day will focus on a different theme and build knowledge across the week. Our resources help students discover how litter dropped inland finds its way to the sea, illustrating that no matter where we are, our actions have an impact.

Download our taster pack of education resources below. It includes everything you need to know and all the resources you need to take part in the litter survey, as well as cross-curricula activity suggestions.

To make things simpler for you, we have also put together some health and safety guidance below.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at [email protected].

Volunteer picking up beach litter at Great British Beach Clean on Eastney Beach Portsmouth GBBC Billy Barraclough

Credit: Billy Barraclough

Help turn the tide on plastic pollution


litter items found per 100m of beach surveyed at last year's Great British Beach Clean



of beach cleans last year found face masks and PPE



drop in plastic bags found on UK beaches since 5p charge was introduced