Autumn Beach Clean Continues Record-Breaking Year for SAS Beach Cleans
The week of the 24th – 30th of October saw our biggest Autumn Beach Clean ever with over 270 beach cleans taking place across the UK, from the Channel Islands in the south to the Outer Hebrides in the north and Norfolk in the east to Northern Ireland in the west. Led by us, over 7,600 inspired individuals descended onto their local beaches, armed with a pair of gloves and a bag/bucket, removing 16 tonnes of marine litter!
The following stats and stories are just a snippet of the incredible showing of community spirit in the fight against marine litter:
- 275 Autumn Beach Cleans – with all regions of the UK represented
- Over 7,600 SAS Volunteers – including 32 schools, Universities and surf schools
- 16 Tonnes – of marine litter removed from our coastline
- 137 – beach cleans led by our Regional Reps
- 4 Months – youngest beach clean volunteer
- 93 Years – oldest beach clean volunteer
- Weird and Wonderful – among this record-breaking event some weird and wonderful finds were recorded, including a freaky toy monkey, a plethora of tyres of all sizes, a tent and sleeping bag, clothing, traffic cones and an army water bottle from 1994.
- The Usual Suspects – sadly, the usual offenders were out in force with nurdles, plastic bottles, cotton bud sticks bottle tops, cans and cigarette butts being recorded in high numbers.
However, the cleans don’t stop there with several Autumn Beach Cleans still taking place across the UK. Head to the Events Page to find your nearest one. Marine Litter is a continuous problem and SAS encourages people to organise their own beach cleans throughout the year. For more details visit the How to Organise a Beach Clean Page, or contact us at [email protected].
With over 269,000 tonnes of floating plastics in our oceans (1) we realise that beach cleans aren’t the single answer to the marine litter crisis. This year, all our Regional Reps and Lead Volunteers have been called on to help ‘beyond the beach clean’ with our Message In A Bottle campaign. This has taken the form of them recording and recycling all plastic bottles and cans they found on their cleans and writing to their MPs calling for a Deposit Return Scheme. Recent studies show that there are now an incredible 250 plastic bottles per kilometre of coastline in the UK (2) and together with cans make up approximately 40% of all litter by volume (3).
- Eriksen M, Lebreton LCM, Carson HS, Thiel M, Moore CJ, et al. (2014) Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea. PLoS ONE 9(12): e111913. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111913. Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-12-scientists-total-weight-plastic-world.html#jCp