events calendar

What Did The Great British Beach Clean Find On Our Beaches?

Back in September, the Marine Conservation Society undertook it's annual Great British Beach Clean - and the results are in.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 4 December 2019

Were you one of the thousands of volunteers that took part in Marine Conservation Society's Great British Beach Clean? Over one weekend in September 437 beach cleans and litter surveys took place, joined by 10,800 people.

They removed 10,833 kg of litter from the UK's beaches.

So what do we know about the state of plastic pollution and other litter on British beaches in 2019? 

Most common on the sand were plastic and polysterene pieces.

Second were cigarette butts followed by glass pieces in third place.

Marine Conservation Society Great British Beach Clean

Have you ever taken part in a beach clean?

In one weekend, almost 11 tonnes of litter were removed from beaches across the UK. 

558 litter items were found per 100m of UK beach surveyed (Scotland: 492 per 100m / Wales: 475 per 100m).

There are on average a shocking 38 drinks containers per 100m of beach, leading to Marine Conservation Society to call for an all-inclusive Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England in line with other DRS (like this one in Scotland) across the UK for glass and plastic bottles of all sizes as well as cans. 

While glass is recyclable, the charity found 4 glass bottles per 100m of beach in England and Scotland, and 8 per 100m in Wales. 

Sadly there has been a 36% increase in drinks containers found on the UK's beach since 1994.

Each September, the Marine Conservation Society undertakes the Great British Beach Clean and it has been running this for the last 26 years. In that time over six million bits of litter have been removed by the charity's volunteers.

Find the full results of the GBBC 2019 report here.

Find your nearest beach clean or volunteer group here

Social Sources Uk
Social Litter Trend Uk
Social Top5 Uk
Social Litterstats Overall

Georgina Wilson-Powell 4 December 2019

Share this article