Big Spring Beach Clean Success – 17,000 People Join The Quest For Plastic Free Coastlines

This April we, alongside Ecover, made beach clean history! When almost 17,000 people joined us at over 470 beaches and river banks across the UK to remove a massive 55 TONNES of ocean plastic pollution and recycle 17,000* single-use plastic bottles as part of Ecover’s pioneering Ocean Plastic Bottle Project, the Big Spring Beach Clean became the largest and most impactful volunteer beach cleaning project in the UK.

Over 12 million tonnes of plastic pollution flows, almost unchecked, into our oceans each year. This flood of ‘single-use’ ‘throwaway’ items has become so overwhelming that it can often be difficult to imagine a solution. However by simply grabbing a pair of gloves and heading down to their nearest Big Spring Beach Cleans, SAS’s incredible volunteer army, 17,000 strong, has shown that by uniting to take simple, positive steps we can set a powerful example and begin to move towards plastic free coastlines together.

It is for these reasons that SAS was so excited at the prospect of partnering with Ecover to ‘capture’ and ‘divert’ all suitable**PET plastic bottles to be included in their pioneering Ocean Plastic Bottle Project. Each and every Big Spring Beach Clean volunteer took great heart from the knowledge that the bottles that they collected would be re-used by SAS and Ecover to both create a sustainable, circular economy product and raise awareness about using plastic conscientiously through this inspiring ‘shore to store’ story.

Top 10 Big Spring Beach Clean 2017 ‘Stats’ 

  • 475 – SAS Big Spring Beach Cleans took place across all regions of the UK
  • 16,944 – SAS Big Spring Beach Clean volunteers
  • 55,541kg – Of marine litter removed from the UK’s coastline
  • 74,000 hours – Donated by SAS Big Spring Beach Clean volunteers
  • 17,000+  – Single-use plastic bottles removed and recycled with Ecover
  • Weird, Old and Wonderful – A broken open safe, terrapin shell, two 7.62 rifle bullets and a cider can from the 1960’s to name just a few of the surprising items found
  • Longest Litter Journey – A Cornwall Council recycling bin found washed up on The Isle of Skye!
  • Government Representation – From DEFRA Environment Minister Dr Therese Coffey to Tynemouth’s Young Persons Mayor, Oscar Daniels more than 10 MPs, MSPs, Mayors and local councillors volunteered
  • Dawn ‘Till Dusk Big Spring Beach Clean 6am – 6pm cleaning 5 beaches around Bude with The Plastic Movement engaging 200 people and removing 835kg!
  • 91 Years YOUNG – Oldest Big Spring Beach Clean Volunteer (Freshwater West, Wales)


The vision of Plastic Free Coastlines is within reach if we take action together. Small steps lead to great journeys, so if you’ve been inspired by the story of SAS’s Big Spring Clean why not get involved today by doing your own #MiniBeachClean and letting the SAS Beach Clean Team know at [email protected] and sharing @surfersagainstsewage!?

We would like to thank lead sponsor Ecover as well Klean Kanteen for their ongoing support.