Beach Clean Ups: Protecting Britain’s Shorelines

How to help out this summer

It is estimated that there are two pieces of litter for every footstep you take on a beach. In the aftermath of winter storms, or busy days on summer heatwaves UK’s beautiful beaches often resemble ‘marine litter disaster zones,’ covered in landslides of trash. The marine litter disaster is one the most major threats to our oceans today. It is an environmental problem on a global scale and adversely impacts wildlife, the economy and human health. This ever increasing global problem must be tackled at a local level. We at Urban Surfer are encouraging all of you to get more involved with one of your local beach cleanups!

How can I get involved?

*Beach Clean Boxes – the next step in marine disaster relief for the UK’s beaches. 125 specially designed beach conservation kits. These include beach clean tools; buckets, bin bags, gloves, litter picker and shovels, vital scientific monitoring and education materials.

The waves of litter scattered across our beaches regrettably appears to be on the rise. The measures of trash on UK beaches have more than doubled since 1994. Figures suggest that more than 100,000 marine animals die every year from entanglement or digestion of castoff items found on the beaches or at sea.

Every year, through projects such as the Big Spring Beach Clean, Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project and the Big Beach Clean, along with Volunteer- and Regional Rep-led beach cleans and many others, tonnes of harmful plastic pollution is removed from Britain’s beaches. In 2016 alone over 19,400 people joined us at nearly 950 Surfers Against Sewage  beach cleans removing in excess of 64 TONNES of marine litter – the equivalent of 16,000 bin bags or two and a half 25m swimming pools! Get down to your local beach and take part in cleaning up the UKs coastlines.

You never know what you might find! The National Trust has compiled a list of the 10 most unusual beach clean finds:

  • BMW parts on Branscome Beach
  • Spanish washing up liquid
  • Parts of an old cooking range, probably from old cottages washed away in the early 1900’s on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall
  • A scaffold clamp probably from a Second World War beach defence barrier
  • An unbroken light bulb
  • A telegraph pole weighing 1 tonne
  • A French medicine container
  • A 20 litre oil container
  • Window frame
  • Hot water bottle




Stephanie Contomichalos

Stephanie Contomichalos is a sports enthusiast. She is an avid crossfitter, wakeboarder and has recently qualified as a Level 1 CrossFit coach. She is also an advocate for women’s sport and for using sport as a tool for development. She is currently living in Athens, Greece.

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