This year’s Great British Beach Clean organised by the Marine Conservation Society was held as a week-long event running from the 18-25th September.

The results 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.

Lizzie Prior, Great British Beach Clean Coordinator said: “The amount of PPE our volunteers found on beaches and inland this year is certainly of concern. Considering mask wearing was only made mandatory in shops in England in late July, little more than three months before the Great British Beach Clean, the sharp increase in PPE litter should be a word of warning for what could be a new form of litter polluting our beaches in the future.”

Efforts at the beach were joined by volunteers getting involved in the MCS 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.

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