Thanks to our beach clean army

Dom Ferris, Projects Manager at Surfers Against Sewage

09 November 2015

Beach clean

A big thank you to our army of beach lovers and lead sponsors The Crown Estate and Selfridges Project Ocean for helping tackle the marine litter crisis and protect what we love. We are so proud of the incredible number and spread of beach cleans.

Surfers Against Sewage’s Autumn Beach Clean Series unites, inspires and empowers coastal communities to take action to protect their beaches, a vital community space to be enjoyed and protected.

The atmosphere of community spirit that this project has engendered is incredible.”

At the heart of our Autumn Beach Clean Series programme is a commitment to promote the need to close the loop on litter, by stemming the flow of plastics into our oceans and viewing the plastics already in our oceans as a resource rather than simply waste.

So, as well as removing tonnes of litter from the marine environment, all plastic bottles, aluminium cans, glass bottles, fishing gear and other suitable materials collected are recycled. Volunteers are also asked to use their love for their beaches to raise awareness of the need to move towards a more sustainable circular ocean economy.

In spite of some of the most challenging weather conditions we have ever faced, our Autumn Beach Clean Series 2015 was fantastic!

Here it is in numbers:

  • 165 beach cleans.
  • 3,500 volunteers including 17 schools and 13 universities.
  • 10 tonnes of litter removed.
  • 10,000 items recycled.
3,500 volunteers

including 17 schools & 13 universities

10 tonnes

of litter removed


items recycled

Weird and wonderful items collected included plastic animals, dinosaurs, a marine litter minion, a toilet brush, a plastic cake and a suitcase containing hundreds of toy soldiers. We also discovered many ‘retro rubbish’ items, including a 1986 Britain’s Ltd toy soldier, a 1989 Milky Way wrapper and a 1986 Coca Cola can.

As ever, volunteers were shocked by the vast numbers of bottle tops, single use plastic bottles, cans and cigarette butts found. However, it was the many, many thousands of cotton bud sticks and other sewage related debris that really saddened volunteers.

One of the drivers for holding the beach cleans during the first week of November was to raise awareness of how our beaches are blighted by fireworks each year. This was a huge success, with large amounts of fireworks removed at beach cleans and communication on the issue gaining great traction – one Facebook post had a reach of over 100,000.

Further information

Our support for the SAS Beach Cleans

Surfers Against Sewage Beach Cleans