MCS Beachwatch is the flagship (UK) event of the Marine Conservation Society’s Adopt-a-Beach project. The results from MCS Beachwatch are published each spring and used by MCS to campaign against the sources of beach litter at local, national and international levels. The data collected by MCS Beachwatch volunteers contributes to a worldwide project, the International Coastal Clean-up, which takes place in over 80 countries worldwide.
Random facts Edit
- Results from the MCS Beachwatch survey in 2009 showed that litter on our beaches had increased by a staggering 75% since the project began in 1994. The four main sources of litter found on UK beaches come from the public – items such as plastic bags and fast food containers, from fishing – like pieces of line and sections of nets, from bathroom waste - cotton bud sticks and condoms and from shipping – for example pallets. Source: mcsuk.org, 10th September 2010
- 19 - 20 MCS Beachwatch 2009
Almost 4,000 volunteers took part during last year’s MCS Beachwatch 2007 weekend, cleaning and surveying over 350 beaches and collecting over 2,700 bags of litter - a clear sign that beach litter is a major issue and is important to the UK public. The survey recorded an average of 2,054 items per kilometre on UK beaches, which equates to over two items for every metre stretch of beach!
Threat of plastic Edit
Of all the hazardous materials littering our seas today, plastic poses the greatest threat - it causes death and injury to hundreds of thousands of seabirds and other marine animals every year through ingestion (swallowing) and entanglement. Items of particular danger to marine wildlife include plastic bags, drink can yokes and fishing nets.
Over the past 15 years, plastic litter has consistently accounted for well over 50% of all litter found on beaches during MCS Beachwatch surveys, and the United Nations Environment Programme recently estimated that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter per square mile of the world’s oceans!