The UK has some great beaches and some of them are not too far from London either. This September turn a trip to the beach into something more meaningful with an organized beach clean up drive. Join a planned one, or set up your own - either way collecting litter across the UK’s beaches this summer not only leaves them cleaner, but helps activists understand just how significant the rubbish issue is on our beaches and can help them push for real change.
This year’s Great British Beach Clean will take place between the 17th and 26th of September up and down the country’s beaches. Collecting rubbish is the primary focus but participants are also encouraged to run a litter survey as they clean - this means making a record of the items of rubbish they find within each 100m stretch of the beach.
This data is important because it helps activists press home how serious the beach litter issue is, and it can help mobilise decision-makers into making changes to improve the situation for the better.
Data collected from past beach cleans has helped achieve a number of important changes to protect the environment. From the plastic bag charge, to the banning of microplastics in personal care products, to better wet wipe labelling, and a potential tax on single use plastics - the data collected makes a difference.
However our beaches still have a rubbish problem. Last year’s beach cleans found an average of 425 items of litter per 100m of beach cleaned, a truly staggering amount of rubbish for any site or environment, let alone a natural one.
But on a positive note, the same data showed a 55% drop in the number of plastic beaches found on UK beaches since the plastic bag charge was introduced. So the beach cleans matter.
Want to learn more? Visit the Great British Beach Clean website to get involved.