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Growing numbers of volunteers clean our beaches

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has run its Beachwatch beach litter survey and clean-up programme since 1994. In September 2015, its flagship event, the Great British Beach Clean, had a record-breaking number of volunteers – over 6,000 people who attended 340 beaches around the UK over only one weekend, including 75 beaches in Scotland.

Volunteers collected 277,354 litter items, with an average of 3,298 items of litter per km of beach, a record high since surveys began. This shows that more needs to be done to reverse this trend.

The number of bottles found in the 2015 Great British Beach Clean went up in almost every part of the UK compared to the previous year. 99 bottles were found, on average, per kilometre cleaned – a relative increase of 43%. MCS supports calls for a Deposit Return System (DRS), which would give a financial incentive to return plastic drinks bottles.

Photo: Ian Lee via Flickr