More than 550 spring beach cleans are expected to take place across the UK as part of Surfers Against Sewage’s Big Spring Beach Clean this month.
The events, which began on 7 April and run until 15 April, aim to raise awareness of plastic pollution, in particular, and the need for people to come together to tackle the “human-made scourge of the seas”.
Surfers Against Sewage said: “In the last decade, the Big Spring Beach Clean has grown into one of the largest and most impactful marine conservation actions in the world. However we believe that this year is different, this year there is light at the end of the tunnel in the journey towards Plastic Free Coastlines, a light that recently became an explosion of ‘ocean plastic awareness’ thanks to the ‘Attenborough effect’ of Blue Planet 2!”
Around 20,000 volunteers will take part in the Big Spring Beach Clean around the UK. To volunteer for the beach clean ups, people can check their nearest clean up by viewing an interactive map on the Surfers Against Sewage website.
In addition to helping remove and recycle marine debris, this year Surfers Against Sewage are asking volunteers to take further action by recording and sharing the presence of millions of items of ‘avoidable plastics’ with the UK Government’s Treasury consultation on single-use plastics.
Using the hashtags #AvoidablePlastics and #PlasticFreeCoastlines, this mass data collection will provide the Government with ‘Un-Avoidable’ evidence of the urgent need to introduce upstream solutions to reduce single-use plastic.
The prime plastic offenders that Big Spring Beach Clean volunteers will be asked to report include plastic bottles and bottle tops, coffee cups and lids, plastic cutlery, straws, plastic bags, disposable razors, cotton buds, plastic sanitary items, balloons, sweet wrappers, lolly sticks and fast food containers, among others.
Surfers Against Sewage have teamed up with the Environment Agency to develop innovative solutions to tackle single-use plastic pollution in the wider environment – from partnering to make the Big Spring Beach Clean bigger than ever to teaming up with their pioneering new South West Plastics and Sustainability team to reduce the amount of plastic pollution across land, rivers and the coastline.
Surfers Against Sewage added: “It is through collaborative relationships such as these that we truly can create plastic free coastlines.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea