The biggest Big Spring Beach Clean ever sees over 35,500 volunteers turn out at 571 beaches across the UK!

Beach Clean Leader Emmajo amid her haul from Whitley Bay. (c)Lewis Arnold

Riding high from 2017’s success we, alongside the Environment Agency, upped our targets again, aiming for a record-breaking 500 Big Spring Beach Clean events mobilising 20,000 volunteers across the UK. We thought this was high but as usual, you, our amazing beach clean army, proved us wrong!

Over 35,500 inspiring individuals joined us at 571 beaches, rivers, canals, marinas and lakes across the UK removing a staggering 63 TONNES of marine plastic pollution. Valuable monitoring was also conducted into the percentage of ‘avoidable plastics’ found on our beaches that will be used to inform the treasury report into a planned tax on single-use plastic items. The results showed that 27% of all beach litter collected was avoidable plastics. at just over 17 tonnes, this is unavoidable evidence of the need for change.

Not content to just remove the plastic, 10 tonnes was sent to London to be filmed live for the One Show behind a panel that included SAS Chief Exec, Hugo Tagholm, Environment Minister, Michael Gove, TV Presenter and Environmentalist, Chris Packham and a spokesperson from the British Plastics Federation.

Top 10 Big Spring Beach Clean stories

  • 571 – SAS Big Spring Beach Clean events took place across the UK
  • 43 – SAS Mini Beach Cleans ran during the main week of cleans
  • 35,740 – Incredible SAS Volunteers joined in with the cleans
  • 65,685kg – of marine plastic pollution was removed from our coastline. The equivalent of 16,421.5 full bin bags
  • 27% – of the litter collected was Avoidable Plastics, around 17 tonnes!
  • 153,420 – the number of volunteer hours donated across the Big Spring Beach Clean
  • £1,353,613 – the financial value of these volunteer hours to coastal communities
  • 57 – the number of SAS Beach Cleans led by schools, colleges and universities
  • 10 tonnes – the amount of plastic delivered to Broadcasting House, London for The One Show to been seen by 7 million people.
  • 1 – the number of wedding couples that joined an SAS Beach Clean!

The Big Spring Beach Clean in photos

At the beginning of the year the UK government announced targets to eliminate ‘avoidable plastic waste’ by the end of 2042. As part of the Big Spring Beach Clean this year we looked to document and share the impacts of avoidable plastic pollution. This mass data collection will provide the Treasury with unavoidable evidence of the urgent need to introduce upstream solutions to reduce single-use plastic.

We would like to thank the Environment Agency and Klean Kanteen for their ongoing support of our mission for plastic free coastlines.

If you have any questions or want to organise your own beach clean please email either Jack or Harry in the beach cleans team at [email protected].