45,700 Volunteers Join The Biggest Ever UK Beach Clean

The week of the 6th – 14th of April saw our biggest ever Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit To Sea take place. From beach fronts to mountain tops, rivers to streets 45,771 people turned out to protect their environment and stop plastic from polluting our oceans. Volunteers removed 70,799.31kg of plastic pollution, the equivalent of 17,700 full bin bags.

  • In total 45,771 volunteers from across the UK joined us at community clean events on beaches, rivers and mountains in the week of the 6th – 14th April.
  • Surfers Against Sewage say the ‘Attenborough effect’ had led to a 22% increase in number of volunteers, up from 35,830 at the same time in 2018.
  • Volunteers removed 70,799.31kg of plastic pollution, the equivalent of 17,700 full bin bags.
  • 756 cleans were organised across the UK including 72 school organised cleans that involved 3,123 pupils and 57 cleans organised by Duke of Edinburgh youth participants.
  • In total 365,756 volunteer hours were donated across the UK to keep our environment clean of plastic pollution.
  • Locations of cleans:
    • Furthest North – Ronas Voe Beach, Shetland
    • Furthest South – Le Braye, Jersey
    • Furthest East – Lowestoft, East Anglia
    • Furthest West –Enniskillen Island, Northern Ireland
    • Most Rural – Arnol, Outer Hebrides
    • Most Urban – Royal Docks, London

Following on from a winter of storms battering the coastline of the British Isles, most recently Storm Gareth, and the swathes of plastic pollution left in their wake, Surfers Against Sewage’s army of clean volunteers have descended on the beaches, rivers, mountain trails and streets of the UK for the biggest community beach clean in UK history..

SAS’s Community Manager, Jack Middleton said “This is the Attenborough effect in action, we are witnessing an incredible community response to plastic pollution on our beaches, rivers and green spaces across the UK. For so many people to have given up their time and joined a clean really shows the current attitude towards environmental protection.”

Richard Walker, Trustee of theIceland Foods Charitable Foundation said “Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Surfers Against Sewage are passionate about tackling the scourge of plastic pollution head-on and we know that momentum for action is building in communities throughout the UK. We’re very proud to be part of this year’s campaign and have seen tremendous interest and support from Iceland colleagues in all parts of the country. The fact that over 45,000 volunteers have taken part nationwide is very encouraging and a testament to how much this issue matters to our communities.”

David LedoubleManaging Director EMEA at Hydro Flask said: “The turnout for the Big Spring Beach Clean was extremely impressive and it’s a fantastic achievement to have so much litter collected from the UK’s outdoor spaces. The Attenborough effect seems to have hit home hard, with a huge increase in volunteers since last year, and we were very excited to be part of such a great campaign. A huge well done from Hydro Flask to the SAS team and all the volunteers who took part.”

The beach clean series was organised by Surfers Against Sewage and supported by partners; Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, People’s Postcode Lottery and Hydro Flask alongside Community Partners; British Canoeing, British Canoe Foundation, Surfing England, The Outdoor Swimming Society, The British Mountaineering Council and The Wave Project.