Plenty of Time Left to Sign Up For the UK's Largest Beach Litter Cleanup Event

mcs beach clean ready sept title

The Marine Conservation Society’s annual Great British Beach Clean is fast approaching, but it's not too late to get signed up and get involved.

This year's event will be running from 17 – 26 September. Volunteers joining the event will not only help to prevent tons of polluting waste from entering our oceans but also help the charity collect valuable data about the type of rubbish that is finding its way to our beaches; valuable citizen science which will contribute to a global database as part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup initiative.

Volunteers can sign up for a beach clean, or organise their own, by completing the application on the Marine Conservation Society’s website:

Those who are not able to get to the coast to participate in a beach clean can join in the Source to Sea Litter Quest, an inland version of the charity’s survey that people can undertake in their local area, which highlights some of the most common litter items which end up in the sea. For more information on taking part inland, visit

mcs gbbc 2020 ppe stats

Key stats and facts from GBBC 2020:

  • At last year’s Great British Beach Clean, volunteers collected 151,422 litter items, filling 685 bin bags with 3,132kg of rubbish
  • PPE litter including face masks and gloves was found on nearly 30% of beaches cleaned by the charity’s volunteers across the week of the Great British Beach Clean 2020
  • Plastic and polystyrene pieces (0-50cm in size) were the most common litter item at last year’s Great British Beach Clean, with an average of 167 pieces found for every 100 metres of beach cleared and surveyed
  • At last year’s Great British Beach Clean, volunteers found an average of 425 items of litter for every 100 metres of UK beach cleaned. 
  • Since the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge in Wales in 2011, and then across the rest of the UK, the Marine Conservation Society reports a 55% drop in the single-use bags found on beaches in the UK.

'The Great British Beach Clean is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference,' said Lizzie Prior, Beachwatch Officer at the Marine Conservation Society. 'Not only do volunteers help keep the UK’s beaches beautiful and litter-free, but they also collect vital data on what’s polluting our environment. We’ve used data collected in the past to campaign for carrier bag charges and single-use plastic bans, all of which have led to a reduction in litter on our beaches. So why not get outside, join us on a beach clean and make a difference?'

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