Marine litter

SAS campaigns

Surfers Against Sewage is working at community, corporate and government level to tackle the marine litter crisis. The recent publication of SAS’s Marine Litter Report sets out our vision to reduce UK beach litter by 50% by 2020.  The report highlights the true scale of the marine litter crisis; the underlying causes and the threat marine litter poses to ecosystems, marine organisms and communities.  The report also maps out practical and achievable solutions across industry, government and communities to increase action for much cleaner and safer beaches by 2020.

The catalyst for SAS’s ambitious target is the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Europe’s current key piece of legislation supporting the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment. Over the next five-year period (2015 – 2020), SAS will collaborate with government, charities, scientists, industry, communities and individuals to work towards this radical target.

Surfers Against Sewage believes that the UK urgently needs to do more to tackle marine litter and that the MSFD offers an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration, coordination and action on the issue over the next six years. The appetite amongst coastal communities, business leaders and organisations seeking stronger and more ambitious leadership on solutions seems to be at all-time high.

Surfers Against Sewage’s Marine Litter Report offers a framework of practical and achievable solutions to help achieve significant reductions in beach litter during the MSFD timeframe. Covering community, business and government action SAS’s recommendations broadly focus on the following measures:

  • Stopping marine litter at source – preventing it entering the environment in the first place
  • Creating a circular economy through extended producer responsibility and greater corporate accountability
  • Creating new legislation to protect the coastal environment from marine litter
  • Dramatically up-scaling marine litter education and volunteering opportunities amongst coastal communities and the general public.

Nationwide delivery of SAS beach cleans helps directly remove marine litter from the environment and raises public awareness about the issue and available solutions. Annually, SAS mobilises 10,000 community beach clean volunteers and educates thousands of individuals about the marine litter crisis through schools talks and outside events. The charity also distributes marine litter campaign materials to hundreds of businesses throughout the UK each year to help them combat the crisis with us.

Surfers Against Sewage’s longer-term environmental initiatives including Return To OffenderBreak the Bag HabitThink Before You Flush and No Butts on the Beach aim to stop marine litter at source, which is vital in protecting the UK’s beaches by shutting down the flow of debris into our oceans, particularly single-use plastics.

Marine Litter Campaigns

Below are links to Marine Litter related SAS campaigns…

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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UFOs

UFOs

The Unidentified Floating Object (UFO) campaign calls on the public to help identify persistent, unidentified marine litter from our beaches, in the hope that SAS can trace the the source of the litter and hold the polluters to account!

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Break The Bag Habit

Break The Bag Habit

Surfers Against Sewage has joined forces with three other leading environmental charities to call for a levy on single-use bags in England, following the success of such levies in Wales and Ireland.

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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.

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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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Community beach cleans

Community beach cleans

We organise hundreds of beach cleans and mobilise thousands of volunteers annually, removing many tonnes of this harmful marine litter. We’re proud of this but with your help we can do much more.

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Big Spring Beach Clean

Big Spring Beach Clean

SAS call for volunteers. With your help we aim to deliver 150 beach cleans, involving 5,000 volunteers, spanning all coastal counties and removing tonnes of debris from our precious beaches...

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 Beach Guardian Project

Beach Guardian Project

We are working with Visit Cornwall to encourage local community groups and individuals to take a pro-active approach in protecting their local beaches and become Beach Guardians.

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