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Over 55 people turned up on a sunny Sunday afternoon on Swansea beach to join forces with the Marine Conservation Society and M&S, to turn the tide on litter as part of Spark Something Good.

Armed with litter pickers, and with a giant starfish to help, children and adults alike collected around 85 kg of rubbish in just under 2 hours! 

Beach litter is not just unsightly and bad for tourism, it is also harmful to our marine wildlife who can become entangled in it or ingest it.  Not only is it important to remove this litter, it is also important to know exactly what is washing up on our shores and where it is coming from if we are ever going to stop it at its source. 

This is why the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch programme has been running for 22 years. Over that time volunteers have gone to their local beach and surveyed every man-made item they found, within a 100 metre long survey area. This information is then submitted back to us and we use the extensive data collected  to encourage best practice within industries and run public campaigns that offer effective solutions to problem items (such as wet wipes, dog bags and cotton bud sticks).  

It’s this long term solution that we are striving for, to prevent litter from reaching the environment in the first place - by the time we pick it up from the beach, it’s already had the opportunity to harm wildlife, people and local businesses. 

That’s why our partnership with M&S has been fantastic at getting more beaches cleaned, and even more volunteers to see first-hand the issues with marine litter, and the small changes they can make at home to stop this litter from entering our environment. 

Since our partnership started we have involved 23,500 M&S staff and members of the public, who have cleaned nearly 400 beaches, amounting to 640,000 items, and weighing in at 90 tonnes of litter being removed from beaches around the UK - phew!

We are now thrilled to be a part of the M&S Spark Something Good initiative so we can continue to involve local communities in turning the tide against marine litter and helping us tackle it at the source. 

If you want to support the work we do you can become a member of the Marine Conservation Society by joining here: