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  1. ITV Report

Turning the tide on plastic pollution: the volunteers cleaning up our beaches

  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV's Lauren Hall

Hundreds of volunteers have been picking up litter along our coastline as part of the Great British Beach Clean.

The annual event organised by the Marine Conservation Society helps to tackle plastic pollution and record information about the most common types of rubbish.

Around 150 people helped tidy up the beach at Clacton-on-Sea. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Around 150 volunteers helped to pick up the rubbish at Clacton-on Sea in Essex, finding amongst other things plastic straws, cutlery, cans and plastic bags.

Litter blights out beaches and threatens our ocean life. Thanks in part to the efforts of countless volunteers across the UK each year, we can help to keep them clean and protect the wildlife that lives there. But we can't just deal with the damage caused by litter and plastic pollution - we need to tackle this issue at source and we are taking action.

– Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow MP
Credit: ITV News Anglia

Taking part in the Great British Beach Clean really can make a difference. In previous years when we've highlighted increases in dog poo bags and sewage related debris found on beaches and seen drops in numbers subsequently. Collecting data on litter across the UK's beaches is all-important in turning the tide on plastic and marine pollution.

– Lizzie Prior, MCS Beachwatch Officer