Marine litter

SAS campaigns

Marine plastic pollution has sadly become synonymous with all coastal activities, from surfing to swimming, beach holidays to wildlife watching – it is simply an expected part of our experience. This is why marine plastic pollution, and specifically tackling society’s throwaway, excessive, single use or unnecessary plastics, is Surfers Against Sewage’s top priority.

It’s time that we re-wild our tidelines, restoring the natural mix of driftwood, cuttlefish bones and seashells rather than plastic bags, drinks bottles, straws and wet wipes.  This year we will urge businesses and communities to dramatically reduce their plastic footprint by rethinking and innovating sustainable design, reuse, recycling and delivery systems.

This will be done through a new SAS project called Plastic Free Coastlines; a campaign and grassroots movement to engage and connect individuals, communities and businesses in the collective effort to reduce the flow of single use plastics into the marine environment.

Plastic Free Coastlines is a positive vision that our whole community can share and work towards together.

We invite you to join our community response to marine plastic pollution through initiatives such as the #BeachCleanBox and our increasingly popular community beach clean movement, which mobilises over 20,000 volunteers annually, delivering 110,000 volunteering hours worth £1 million to the UK coastline every year.

The key principles we will follow throughout our plastic pollution and marine litter projects include:

  • Stopping marine plastic pollution at source.
  • Creating a circular economy (reusing & recycling plastics) through extended producer responsibility and greater corporate accountability.
  • Creating new legislation to protect the coastal environment from plastic pollution.
  • Dramatically up-scaling plastic pollution education and volunteering opportunities amongst coastal communities and the general public.

We are delighted to be a founding member of the global #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement and Plastics Movement Alignment Process, which bring together hundreds of NGOs creating solutions to plastic pollution around the world.

We will use our Waves All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to bring together fellow NGOs, charities, campaigners and experts to urge politicians to explore and introduce the strongest possible policies to stop ‘plastic emissions’ into the environment. It’s crucial that governments adopt new policies and legislation to accelerate plastic pollution prevention at the necessary pace to stop our oceans succumbing to the threat. The chair of the Waves APPG, Steve Double MP, recently raised the important issue of deposit return systems with the Secretary of State for the Environment and we welcome the government’s proposal to set up an innovation fund to explore the development of a UK deposit systems to dramatically increase plastic bottle recycling rates and prevent this ‘throwaway’ plastic from polluting the marine and terrestrial environments.

Plastic Pollution Priority Projects for 2017 include:

Plastic Free Coastlines, Message In A Bottle, The Big Spring Beach Clean, The Autumn Beach Clean, The #MiniBeachClean, Plastic Free Schools, The Waves All Party Parliamentary Group, The Ocean Plastic Bottle Project.

Marine Litter Campaigns

Below are links to Marine Litter related SAS campaigns…

Community beach cleans

Community beach cleans

Join us in organising one of hundreds of beach cleans involving thousands of volunteers annually to help remove tonnes of harmful marine litter and throwaway plastic pollution.

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Beach Clean Box

Beach Clean Box

Beach Clean Boxes are specialist beach protection kits, easy to use they are accessible for all and available for the whole community to use.

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Message In A Bottle

Message In A Bottle

The Message In A Bottle campaign calls for the introduction of a UK-wide Deposit Return System for plastic bottles and other drinks containers to stop marine plastic pollution.

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#MiniBeachClean

#MiniBeachClean

Take hands-on action to protect your favourite beach from plastic pollution 365 days a year by doing a #MiniBeachClean every day!

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The Big Spring Beach Clean & Autumn Beach Clean Series

The Big Spring Beach Clean & Autumn Beach Clean Series

The Big Spring Beach Clean is now the UK's biggest single weekend of volunteer beach clean activity with over 300 beach cleans and 10,000 volunteers participating and spanning the whole of the country.

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Return To Offender

Return To Offender

We are encouraging all our supporters to become an active part of our award-winning anti beach litter campaign, sending items of identifiable marine litter found on UK beaches back to the manufacturers.

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Think Before You Flush

Think Before You Flush

Raising public awareness about the problem that sanitary products (known in the business as Sewage Related Debris or SRD) cause in the sewage system and marine environment if they are flushed down the toilet.

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Mermaid's Tears

Mermaid's Tears

Little more than a few millimetres in diameter, these tiny plastic pellets have been nicknamed mermaids tears by campaigners and are one of the most prevalent litter item found on UK beaches. Join us in the Great Nurdle Hunt!

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No Butts on the Beach

No Butts on the Beach

An estimated 4.5 TRILLION cigarette butts enter the environment every year. Just take a few moments to let that sink in, tell someone ­it’s a truly frightening figure, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts!

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Marine Litter Report

Marine Litter Report

The Marine Litter Report sounds the alarm for the UK’s trashed tidelines, highlighting the environmental impacts of marine plastic pollution on marine ecosystems and wildlife, and the unaffordable costs to industries including fisheries and tourism.

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