Great British Beach Clean Takes Place This Coming Weekend

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Volunteers at a previous beach clean event (Photo: Marine Conservation Society)

The Marine Conservation Society's 2019 Great British Beach Clean takes place this coming weekend, 20-23rd September, and MCS is calling on members of the public to get involved. 

Last year, 15,000 volunteers took part, removing a total of 8,550kg of litter from beaches around the UK. The charity hopes to surpass last year’s record-breaking turnout by reminding volunteers that they are not just beach cleaners, but also citizen scientists. Along with removing litter from beaches, valuable data is recorded in the process, which MCS uses to build a picture of the most prolific types of litter and help tackle the problem at source by influencing policy changes at a national level.

'Litter blights our beaches and threatens our ocean life,' said Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow. 'Thanks in part to the efforts of countless volunteers across the UK each year, we can help to keep them clean and protect the wildlife that lives there. I encourage everyone to take part in this year’s Great British Beach Clean and to do their bit to help protect our environment,' said Ms Pow, adding, 'It can also be great fun.'

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Some of the 2018 GBBC results (Image: Marine Conservation Society)

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beachwatch Officer, said: 'Taking part in the Great British Beach Clean really can make a difference. In previous years when we’ve highlighted increases in dog poo bags and sewage-related debris found on beaches and seen drops in numbers subsequently. Collecting data on litter across the UK’s beaches is all-important in turning the tide on plastic and marine pollution.'

While a beach clean may at first seem like an arduous proposition, MCS is keen to let people know that cleaning and surveying a beach only takes a couple of hours at most. Each beach has a coordinator who will explain how to fill in a simple data collection form, and volunteers will be provided with a litter picker and a bin bag for rubbish collection.

This year's Great British Beach Clean will be sponsored by the Ocado Foundation, the charitable arm of the online supermarket, together with long-term supporters the People's Postcode Lottery. Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Corporate Affairs, Ocado Foundation, said: 'We're delighted to be teaming up with the Marine Conservation Society on the GBBC. As a retailer, we take our responsibilities with waste very seriously. We are very proud to be part of the event and the clean-up of Britain's beaches it will achieve.'

To join in the 2019 GBBC, visit to check for the nearest local event and register to get involved. If no beach clean is currently scheduled, there is still time to register as an organiser, call 01989 566017 for more information.




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