This weekend, thousands of people will head to the beaches of Britain to take part in The Great British Beach Clean. The yearly event, organised by the Marine Conservation Society, aims to make beaches a cleaner and safer place for people and wildlife alike. The waste and litter in our seas and on our beaches is a constant threat to marine wildlife, with many species becoming entangled in litter or mistaking small pieces of rubbish for food.
By taking part in the Beach Clean, as well as tidying our coastline, you are also contributing to a national survey, Beach Watch, which provides vital data on the state of marine litter in the UK. The results from this survey help to identify which issues need to be most urgently addressed and raises awareness of the consequences of not properly disposing of your rubbish. Last year saw a decline in the number of plastic carrier bags found on beaches (thanks to that 5p charge at the checkout!), but the amounts of other waste, such as balloon pieces, drinks containers and wet wipes continues to rise.
The 2016 Beach Clean saw more than 6000 volunteers help clean 364 beaches. If you live near a beach and want to help keep our coast beautiful and make it a safer place for people and marine life, then click here to find your local Great British Beach Clean Event and get involved!