The results are in for this year's Great British Beach Clean

Date posted: 28 November 2019

Thanks to you, almost 11 tonnes of litter was cleared from the UK’s coastline in just one weekend!

Sand Bay GBBC 2019
© Natasha Ewins

Great British Beach Clean data over the last 26 years has been instrumental in pushing for policies and initiatives which have made a real change to the marine environment, including the 5p carrier bag charge.

Lizzie Prior
© Jack Holt

Over 10,000 volunteers joined us over the weekend to clean and survey 437 beaches from Scotland’s Shetland Islands all the way to the Channel Islands and across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, removing 10,833 kg of litter in one weekend alone!

There were, on average, 558 items of litter on every 100 metres of beach that were cleaned and surveyed in the UK, with plastic and polystyrene pieces the most common litter items found, cigarette stubs following in second place and glass pieces coming in third.

MCS’ citizen scientists recorded a staggering 16,000 drinks containers of varying forms across Great British Beach Clean weekend, showing why there’s an urgent need for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to implement all-inclusive Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) as soon as possible. Click here to get up to date on DRS progress where you are.

Download the full Great British Beach Clean 2019 Report here and see what you can do to keep up the pressure so finding ‘nothing’ on our beaches becomes a reality.

Full PDF report

UK Litter Trend

Did you know we’re beach cleaning year round? If you’d like to organise your own beach clean or join like-minded volunteers, visit our Beachwatch page.


Actions you can take

  1. Organise a beach clean
  2. Visit the beachwatch website
  3. Join a beach clean
  4. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2019

Did you know?…

Since the carrier bag charge came in across the UK, the Great British Beach Clean has recorded almost 50% fewer bags on beaches

Globally, plastic litter has reached every part of the world’s oceans

Why not join a beach clean ... or organise one?

To date, our beach clean volunteers have removed 6 million pieces of litter from our beaches and collected marine litter data to support our campaigns for cleaner seas and beaches.

Learn more and join a beach clean