This weekend the charity Surfers against Sewage (SAS) will lead the country’s biggest ever beach clean up
Around 1,000 surfers and volunteers are expected to take part in litter-picking across 40 costal sites on 24 and 25 March.
The annual SAS Big Spring Beach Clean takes place at a time of year when the accumulation of marine litter is at its worst, following winter storms, which wash litter ashore.
Examples of marine litter include rubbish from beach users, sewage-related debris, waste from commercial shipping, nets and fish boxes from fishing vessels and medical waste. The amount of marine litter found on UK beaches has almost doubled in the last fifteen years, with 1,969 litter items found on every kilometre of coastline, according to the Marine Conservation Society.
Through regional representatives, SAS is encouraging dedicated volunteers to organise their own beach clean events, offering support and equipment to help empower communities to take positive action to protect local beaches, surf spots and waterways.
Hugo Tagholm, SAS executive director said that in recent years the organisation has seen a dramatic rise in the number of people getting involved.
“Communities want to play their part in tackling the marine litter crisis affecting beautiful beaches everywhere, a visible indicator of the ecological disaster happening in our oceans,” said Tagholm.
“The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean empowers communities and educates the public on making an on-going positive difference to coastlines.”
SAS is encouraging people to send litter back to the original manufacturers in an effort to urge companies to increase anti-littering and recycling messages on products, to look at using more environmentally friendly packaging and to support beach litter initiatives.