Great British Beach Clean 2020 results: PPE pollution on the rise on UK's beaches - Marine Conservation Society

Great British Beach Clean infographic (Marine Conservation Society)

Like many events this year, the Great British Beach Clean, our annual flagship event, looked a little different. Our organisers downsized their beach cleans to small groups and enlisted friends, families and ‘bubbles’ to help clear beaches of litter and take part in the citizen science project. We also extended the Great British Beach Clean to become a weeklong event, running from the 18-25th September.

Despite the unusual circumstances, an amazing 2,124 volunteers took part across 459 events.

Efforts at the beach were joined by volunteers getting involved in our brand new Source to Sea Litter Quest inland. The inland litter survey means we can directly see what litter in particular is making its way to the coast. 80% of litter on our beaches has made its way there from our parks, rivers and streets far from the coast.

The results from this year’s Great British Beach Clean show a concerning, but perhaps predictable, presence of PPE litter. Face masks and gloves were found on almost 30% of beaches cleaned by our volunteers. The Source to Sea Litter Quest data shows a similarly worrying presence of masks and gloves, with more than two thirds (69%) of litter picks finding PPE items.

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Posted On: 06/11/2020

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