The tide of litter washing up on our shores is something that all open water swimmers should be concerned about. As swimmers we are intimately connected with the sea and the beach, and should do our utmost to protect and conserve that environment. Litter on our beaches and in our seas doesn’t just spoil our swimming experience, it also threatens some of our best-loved marine wildlife. As well as making sure that we always take our litter home with us, we can also help by taking part in this year’s Great British Beach Clean, which takes place on the third weekend in September.
The Great British Beach Clean, organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), is the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey. In 2014, nearly 5,349 volunteers cleaned 301 beaches. For every kilometre surveyed, a record 2,457 pieces of litter were found. This year, the charity has the additional support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery to help make the event a bigger success.
MCS Beachwatch Officer Charlotte Coombes says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels: “Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 20%. We need help – and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.”
This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 18, 19, 20 and 21 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers litter picking on beaches all around the UK.
Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch