In response to the tideline of marine litter left on UK beaches by the winter storms, over 3500 people volunteered at beaches from Land’s End to John O’Groats to remove 25 tonnes of marine litter from the British coastline.
This is the equivalent to 833,333 thousand 1 litre plastic bottles.
Marine litter has reached shocking new levels, according to Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), which organised this year’s Big Spring Beach Clean. The growing marine litter crisis means that there are now over 2030 items of marine litter – the vast majority plastic – for every kilometre of our coastline, the organization says.
The clean up saw 130 beaches cleaned by 3,500 SAS Big Spring Beach Clean volunteers.
3.5 tonnes of marine litter was removed from Perranporth in Cornwall alone – an SAS record for one single beach clean.
According to SAS, 1000s of sewage related debris items were reported at all Big Spring Beach Cleans.
SAS chief executive, Hugo Tagholm – “Surfers Against Sewage was overwhelmed with the outpouring of community action and effort through the Big Spring Beach Clean. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped remove the staggering 25 tonnes of litter from our beaches…”
“One of our greatest strengths is an ability to approach the often distressing issues facing our coastline with a sense of fun and the Big Spring Beach Clean is a perfect example,” SAS said. “Whilst removing shocking amounts of the usual marine litter suspects like plastic bottles, cigarette butts, fishing net and plastic bags, volunteers were also hunting for weird and wonderful items of marine litter as part of the ‘Weirdfish’ competition.”
Later this summer, SAS will produce a report detailing the ambitious strategies needed to reduce marine litter by 50 percent by 2020.
This report will be given to Government and industry with the clear message that our beaches are drowning in litter and that we need to take decisive action today to protect our beaches for the future.
SAS chief executive, Hugo Tagholm: “Surfers Against Sewage was overwhelmed with the outpouring of community action and effort through the Big Spring Beach Clean. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped remove the staggering 25 tonnes of litter from our beaches… this massive springboard of action will hopefully connect, inspire and motivate coastal communities to be even more involved with campaigns to protect our waves, oceans and beaches for the future.”