The Great British Beach Clean
2 minute read
Every September thousands of people take to the beach all over the UK to take part in the Great British Beach Clean.
About the Great British Beach Clean
Credit: Tara Proud
The Great British Beach Clean is a week-long citizen science event, where hundreds of beach cleans take place up and down the UK. Litter data collected drives our conservation work and also feeds into the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC).
This year's Great British Beach Clean will take place between Friday 17th - Sunday 26th September 2021.
On every clean we ask people to run a litter survey: recording all the items of rubbish they find in a 100m stretch. We use this data to campaign for change.
And we have seen some great results - the plastic bag charge, banning microplastics in personal care products, better wet wipe labelling, and supporting a tax on single-use plastic items.
But there is still so much to do to stop the litter plaguing our beaches.
Credit: Billy Barraclough
To get involved this year find a beach clean near you, or organise your own.
We offer step by step guides and provide all the resources you need to run a successful event. Our team is always on hand to help out with any questions you have.
“If you’re having fun and just see tons of litter, it's kind of off putting.”Marko 10 (right), Rottingdean beach, Great British Beach Clean 2020.
You can email us at [email protected] or give us a call on 01989 567807. We're available from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.
It's easy to take part in this year's Great British Beach Clean.
Why not start by viewing the events that have already been organised to take place here.
Or you can organise your own beach clean, it's a simple process and we'll provide you with lots of guides and resources to help.
What we found in 2020
Last year our Great British Beach Clean, looked a little different due to Covid.
Our organisers downsized their beach cleans to small groups and enlisted friends, families and ‘bubbles’ to help clear beaches of litter and take part in the citizen science project.
Despite the unusual circumstances, an amazing 2,124 volunteers took part across 459 events. Volunteers found an average of 425 items of litter per 100m of UK shoreline.
The results showed a concerning, but perhaps predictable, presence of PPE litter. Face masks and gloves were found on almost 30% of beaches cleaned by our volunteers.
As well as the sharp jump in face masks and gloves, drinks containers continue to pollute UK beaches. An average of 30 drinks containers were found per 100m of beach surveyed this year once again showing the need for a Deposit Return Scheme.
“Considering mask wearing was only made mandatory in shops in England in late July, little more than three months before the Great British Beach Clean, the sharp increase in PPE litter should be a word of warning for what could be a new form of litter polluting our beaches in the future.”Lizzie, Great British Beach Clean Coordinator
During last year's Great British Beach Clean PPE was found on many beaches