—— Message In A Bottle

Hate seeing plastic bottles on your beach?

Sign the petition Learn more
Plastic bottle

—— A Surfers Against Sewage Campaign

What is this
campaign about?

We’re calling for Deposit Return Systems to be introduced in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our aim is to educate the public, and via our poll and social media actions, to present evidence of public support for this radical system shift to trap plastic in the economy, not the environment.

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What is a…

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Litter doesn’t belong in our environment

The single-use plastic bottle is fast becoming synonymous with our beaches. These bottles can take more than 450 years to fragment into micro plastics, harming marine life on the way. Together with the cans and other containers, they are trashing our tide lines and littering our line-ups.

A simple circular economy Deposit Return System, could help almost eliminate plastic bottles and other containers littering our precious blue and green spaces, ensuring they are returned to the manufacturer for reuse or recycling, protecting our environment, saving a valuable resource and saving local authorities money.

What is a Deposit Return System?
Returning a used plastic bottle and reclaiming the deposit

—— Plastic bottles

Bottles in
the marine environment

It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn plastic bottles litter tidelines all around the world. However, the sheer quantity on UK beaches is shocking, with the latest Beachwatch survey finding 159 plastic bottles for every mile of beach surveyed. There is also growing evidence exposing an alarming number of plastic bottles accumulating on the seabed.

In the marine environment, a typical plastic bottle might take around 450 years to break down, potentially longer. But what does “break down” mean? Harmlessly disappear? Unfortunately not. Plastic bottles fragment, breaking down into smaller and smaller plastic particles with the ever-increased potential to cause harm to marine life and enter the food chain. Glass bottles and metal cans take significantly longer to break down and can cause serious harm and injury as they do.

Want to do something about it?

Further reading:

Plastic bottles littered on beach

—— Take action

What can you do to help us deliver a Deposit Return System?

See all the ways you can help
Plastic bottle washes up on beach from the sea

01 —— First and foremost

Sign our petition

Support the Message In A Bottle campaign and join Surfers Against Sewage in calling for Deposit Return Systems to be introduced in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland. We’ll be presenting the petition to our All Party Parliamentary Group in Summer 2017 to evidence the public support for this radical system shift to trap plastic in the economy, not the environment.

I support the introduction of a Deposit Return System to protect our beaches from plastic bottles and containers.

02 —— First and foremost

Write to your MP

Write to your elected Member of Parliament or Assembly Member describing how and why a Deposit Return System would improve your beach and community. Make the letter personal to you and relevant to your elected Member of Parliament or Assembly Member, name your favourite beach, let them know what the problem is like in your community and how passionate you are about the issue.

Find your local politicians contact details:

Litter

Download SAS’s helpful letter writing guides for your country here:

England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

03 —— Seeing is believing

Share a photo

Photograph single-use containers littering your favourite beaches and share them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, including our campaign message:

“I support a Deposit Return System to protect the marine environment. #MessageInABottle
Tweet your photo *

* Don’t forget to include your photo ;)

04 —— Digitally lobby

Make it personal

Repeat the previous action, but this time lobby your elected Member of Parliament or Assembly Member MP on Twitter. Target manufacturers and companies who make the products you are finding on the beach. Share a photo of their product littering the environment, and ask them to support a Deposit Return System.

Tweet your photo *

* Don’t forget to include your photo ;)

We'll get you started…

05 —— Roll up your sleeves

Join a beach clean

Join Surfers Against Sewage at a beach clean event. If there isn’t a beach clean at your local beach we can help you to run your own.

About our beach cleans

06 —— Charity donation

Become a member

Your monthly gift will help protect our marine environment. You will become a part of the Surfers Against Sewage family, and be kept up to date with all our latest campaign developments.

See our membership offers

—— A Surfers Against Sewage Campaign