BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 01 May '19

45,700 volunteers join SAS’s biggest ever UK Beach Clean – a 22% increase on last year

Following a winter of storms that battered the coastline of the British Isles and the swathes of plastic pollution left in their wake, Surfers Against Sewage’s army of clean volunteers descended on the UK’s beaches, rivers, mountain trails and streets.

The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit To Sea was the biggest community beach clean in UK history. 45,771 people turned out to protect their environment and stop plastic from polluting our oceans. Volunteers removed 70,799.31kg of plastic pollution, the equivalent of 17,700 full bin bags.

Communities respond

SAS’s community manager, Jack Middleton said: ‘This is the Attenborough effect in action, we are witnessing an incredible community response to plastic pollution on our beaches, rivers and green spaces across the UK. For so many people to have given up their time and joined a clean really shows the current attitude towards environmental protection.’

752 cleans were organised across the UK, including 72 school-organised cleans that involved 3,123 pupils and 57 cleans organised by Duke of Edinburgh youth participants.

In total 365,756 volunteer hours were donated across the UK to keep our environment clean of plastic pollution.

UK Beach Clean locations

Furthest north: Ronas Voe Beach, Shetland
Furthest south: Le Braye, Jersey
Furthest east: Lowestoft, East Anglia
Furthest west: Enniskillen Island, Northern Ireland
Most rural: Arnol, Outer Hebrides
Most urban: Royal Docks, London

Richard Walker, trustee of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, said the fact that over 45,000 volunteers took part ‘is very encouraging and a testament to how much this issue matters to our communities.’