More than 20,000 volunteers expected at nationwide beach clean

| 10th April 2018

Big Spring Beach Clean team

Surfers against Sewage is calling on volunteers to take part in what they say will be one of the biggest ever beach cleans covering over 500 communities - in the wake of a recent government report which projected that ocean plastic is set to treble by 2025. CATHERINE HARTE reports

Spend some time outside with friends, family or colleagues and help make your part of the world a greater place.

The environment group Surfers Against Sewage are calling upon 20,000 volunteers to join in a  550 community beach clean across the UK.

The marine conservation charity says it has never been more important for people to come together to tackle this "human-made scourge of the seas".

In the last decade, SAS say the Big Spring Beach Clean has grown into one of the largest and most impactful marine conservation actions in the world.

Attenborough effect

This year they hope to build on the awareness raised by the so-called 'Attenborough effect' of the Blue Planet II series by asking the volunteers to record and share the presence of millions of items of ‘avoidable plastics’ with the government's treasury consultation on single-use plastics.

Using the hashtags #AvoidablePlastics and #PlasticFreeCoastlines, SAS hope this mass data collection will provide the government with evidence of the urgent need to reduce single-use plastic.

Dom Ferris, head of community and engagement at SAS,  says: “The great news is that SAS beach cleans are also really fun, community spirited events."

The beach clean is taking place this week and volunteers will be asked to remove, record and report prime plastic offenders such as plastic bottles, tops, cups and cartons, plastic cutlery and straws and bathroom plastics. 

Team effort

Surfers Against Sewage say they are also partnering with the Environment Agency to not only make the beach clean bigger and better, but on longer term solutions to tackle single-use plastic pollution in the wider environment.

Richard Stockdale, Area Director of the Environment Agency, said: “We are delighted to support our partner Surfers Against Sewage in the Big Spring Beach Clean. If you love where you live then I encourage you to get involved, like so many of Team EA are, myself included. Spend some time outside with friends, family or colleagues and help make your part of the world a greater place."

This Author

Catherine Harte is a contributing editor to The Ecologist. This story was based on a news release from Surfers Against Sewage. To  find your nearest SAS beach clean event head to sas.org.uk or email  beachcleans@sas.org.uk

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