Know Your Trash: 60 UK beaches picked
Surfers Tackle Marine Litter Crisis With Nationwide Beach Cleans
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 March, 2013 : - - Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is holding its annual Big Spring Beach Clean at over 60 beaches nationwide this month to tackle the growing marine litter crisis hitting UK shores. Over one thousand volunteers will be cleaning beaches from the Orkney Isles to the Lands’ End, at locations chosen by local communities because of the accumulation of marine litter.
Sadly, the springtime reveals the true severity of the marine litter crisis. The impact of winter storms and in absence of seasonal council beach cleaning operations, the build-up of litter can be truly shocking. Typical examples of marine litter include rubbish from beach users, sewage-related debris, waste from commercial shipping, nets and fish boxes from fishing vessels and medical waste.
Hugo Tagholm, SAS Executive Director says: “The marine litter crisis is a major issue hitting beautiful beaches right around the UK. The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean empowers communities and educates the public on how we can all play our part in turning the tide of marine litter.”
Marine pollution is a direct threat to SAS’s vision of clean, sustainable, thriving coastal communities existing in harmony with nature. Marine litter can devastate our beaches and severely affect the public’s enjoyment of these beautiful places. The majority of beach users rank cleanliness as a priority in choosing their destination and a 2005 ENCAMS study showed that 97% of people avoided beaches with 10, or more, large litter items per metre.
Plastics makes up the vast majority of marine litter and never truly break down. Experts suggest plastic left in the environment will be with us in some microscopic form many thousands of years. When in the sea, plastics can adsorb toxic chemicals, becoming increasingly harmful over time, and often entering the food chain when mistaken for food items by marine organisms. Over 100,000 marine mammals and over 1 million seabirds die every year from ingestion of and entanglement marine litter.
SAS Big Spring Beach Cleans will take place on 22nd, 23rd & 24th March between 11am and 2pm (unless otherwise stated) and SAS is calling for volunteers everywhere to join the effort. The events are an important part of SAS’s growing conservation programme, helping communities tackle environmental issues through engaging, fun and effective initiatives, safeguarding special and unique beaches for everyone to enjoy.
Author: Hugo Tagholm
Tags: Surfers Against Sewage, United Kingdom, Beach Cleanups