Record number of beach cleaners expected this weekend

The organisers of the annual Great British Beach Clean say they expect to see record numbers of volunteers at more beaches than ever before at this weekend’s UK-wide event.   For details of the Summerleaze event see link here

The information our volunteers have collected over the last 25 years has helped make some of the most significant impacts on beach litter ever – the plastic bag charge, microplastics banned in personal care products, better wet-wipe labelling, and massive support for a tax on ‘on the go’ plastic single-use items.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has been running the four-day beach cleaning extravaganza for the last 24 years and expects the 2018 event to beat all previous records.

In 2017, 6,944 volunteers attended beach cleans at 339 locations all over the UK from the north of Scotland to Cornwall, Northern Ireland to the Channel Islands. But already, before any litter has been picked, 7,391 volunteers have pre-registered at 432 cleans.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean-up Project Officer, says previous years’ experience shows that numbers registered pre-event can often triple over the weekend itself: “Last year, by this time, a couple of thousand volunteers had registered, but our final figures were just short of 7,000. Since then, we’ve seen the BBC’s Blue Planet II effect, so that more and more people have been keen to clean beaches at our many events throughout the year. We hope it’ll make this year’s Great British Beach Clean the biggest, by volunteer number, ever!”

The Great British Beach Clean is being sponsored by Waitrose for the second year in a row – cash from their carrier bag sales in England goes towards supporting MCS’ year-round beach clean programme. Tor Harris, Head of Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability at Waitrose, said: “Our coast is important to all of us so the Great British Beach Clean is a key opportunity to reduce pollution, especially from plastics. We’re really happy to support such a fantastic event and this builds on our environmental commitment to ensure that all our packaging is widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025″.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery also support the MCS beach litter programme.

It’s not too late to register as a volunteer online at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/greatbritishbeachclean or just turn up on the day to one of the hundreds of events listed.

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