On 11 May 2023, ten members of staff from our branches and head office, met at Thorpeness beach for a Big Beachwatch Help Out, approved by the Marine Conservation Society. The beach clean, organised by ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) champion Shelley Curtis, formed part of our Saving Suffolk campaign, which aims to help protect local nature through working with partners.
The main aim of the beach clean was to collect litter and record data about what we found. The data helps inform the Marine Conservation Society to campaign for change, and create new policies to tackle beach litter and plastic pollution in the UK.
Our beach clean allowed us to show the impacts of items we’re throwing away, even though their effect on our environment might not be immediately obvious. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, so protecting our oceans and educating people about it is vital.
Statistics from Marine Conservation Society show that in 2022, a whopping 393,150 items of litter were removed from beaches, and on average there were 165 items of litter found per 100m of beach!
During our beach clean, our Society staff recorded details of all the litter and items they found at Thorpeness beach. Spending just two hours there proved to make a big difference. Part of the beach clean involved logging every item that we collected onto the Marine Conservation Society website. Overall, 129 items were found – including a crisp pack dating from 2005!
The pie charts below detail the different types of materials collected and their sources:
A list of every item collected was also recorded and added to the Marine Conservation Society website:
Society staff thoroughly enjoyed their morning at the beach helping to save Suffolk and look forward to getting involved with the next volunteering event. A big thank you to everyone who took part and Shelley Curtis for setting up this beach clean and liaising with Marine Conservation Society and the relevant authorities.
To find out more about what the Marine Conservation Society does or to organise your own beach clean, visit their website for more information.
This staff activity is part of our Saving Suffolk campaign, where we work alongside our charity partners to help protect wildlife and provide safe homes for nature.