Surfers Against Sewage lead huge Autumn beach clean
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 November, 2017 - In the midst of Autumn’s ‘plastic pollution storms’ Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), with their partners; The Crown Estate, Greggs, Parley For The Oceans and Ecover, called for beach clean volunteers nationwide to join their Autumn Beach Clean. The UK’s Coastal Communities answered in spectacular style!
This October saw SAS deliver the biggest Autumn Beach Clean (ABC) the UK has ever seen! Over 12,300 inspired individuals of all ages joined in at over 350 beaches, river banks and lakes across the UK to remove a staggering 35 TONNES of marine plastic pollution. Amongst this more than 11,450 single-use plastic bottles were removed for recycling via SAS’s pioneering Ocean Plastic Recycling partnerships with Ecover and Parley for the Oceans.
SAS’s Community Coordinator, Jack Middleton says: “This community effort marked the largest and most impactful of its kind in the winter months with volunteers donating 53,000 hours of their time, worth £472,900 to the nation’s coastal communities. The overall stats from the week show why it is not too late in the fight against marine plastic pollution.”
TOP AUTUMN BEACH CLEAN STATS*
356 Beaches– SAS Autumn Beach Clean events took place across all regions of the UK
12,367 People– SAS Autumn Beach Clean volunteers
34,913KGs – Of marine plastic pollution removed from the UK’s coastline
53,000 Hours – Donated by SAS Autumn Beach Clean Volunteers
11,450 Bottles – Single-use plastic bottles removed and recycled with Ecover and Parley
Spooky ‘HallowClean’ Finds – a skeleton, a range of Ken doll heads, a soul-harvesting scythe and a creepy doll arm to name a few of the more Halloween-themed litter items found
Lake Windermere & River Severn - Thanks to students from the University of Cumbria and the Avon Gorge community the UK’s most well-known lake and our longest river received much needed attention
Government Engagement – From Natalie Bennett and South Tyneside’s Green Party to Phelim MacCafferty, 6 MPs, MSPs, Mayors and local Councillors volunteered at beach cleans
38 Schools and Universities – organised cleans across the UK
60 Years – The age difference between SAS’s oldest (72) and youngest (12) Beach Clean Leader.
With as many as 51 trillion microplastic particles polluting the world’s seas (1), the crisis facing our oceans and beaches is nearing the point of no return.
However the amazing Autumn Beach Clean tales show that there is an incredible amount of hope and SAS are at the very forefront of an inspiring new movement known as ‘conservation optimism’, which focuses on and celebrates successes and opportunities.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage Chief Executive said; “By combining the incredible efforts and enthusiasm of our 35,000 strong beach clean army with campaign successes like the 5p carrier bag charge and the impending introduction of a Deposit Return System (DRS) on plastic drinks containers across the UK, we demonstrate that by taking small, positive steps together we truly can turn the tide on plastic pollution!”