Edinburgh locals encouraged to take part in this year’s Great British Beach Clean

We're supporting efforts for this year’s Great British Beach Clean, as Cramond marks 20 years of citizen science. Press release issued by the Marine Conservation Society.

This year marks two decades of the Marine Conservation Society surveying and cleaning Edinburgh’s Cramond beach, with volunteers showing up year after year to support the charity’s efforts.

The Marine Conservation Society’s annual Great British Beach Clean is a crucial event that helps the charity keep track of plastic pollution, monitor the condition of coastal areas, and campaign for important policy changes. The work done by volunteers along Cramond beach, and the data collected, has contributed to a number of successful campaigns and policy changes to stop litter at source.

This year, the Marine Conservation Society needs more people than ever to organise their own small, private and local beach cleans. The Great British Beach Clean starts this week, running from 18th - 25th of September.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Environment Convener, said:

Our waste teams are all working really hard throughout Edinburgh to keep the city clean so we really appreciate seeing local people getting involved in these events and taking ownership of and responsibility for the environment they live in.

Our staff will be supporting the event and making sure they have the equipment they need to be safe and we’ll dispose of the waste collected. We’ve noticed people have been dropping masks and gloves in the street as well as other litter, which can end up on our beautiful beaches, so please everyone, bin your litter or take it home with you.

Max Coleman, Chair of Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership:

Edinburgh's shoreline provides a wonderful opportunity for contact with nature. As the problems of marine litter are now widely understood I hope record numbers of people will get involved with the Great British Beach Clean this September.

Cramond’s coastal area is vulnerable to a build-up of plastic waste and debris given its position along the coastal causeway to Cramond Island. Commonly collected items have included thousands of wet wipes, plastic bottles, disposable barbecues and dog waste bags.

Over the last 20 years of beach cleaning and surveying at Cramond, over 1,200 dedicated volunteers have removed 197 bags of litter weighing over 950kg. This year, with the events running for a full week, even more litter can be collected and surveyed.

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland at the Marine Conservation Society:

Whilst the ongoing tide of rubbish and plastic could be demoralising, over the years there has been a huge swell in public support for our projects. To see the public pushing for, and enthusiastic about, transformative change has instead been inspiring and motivating.

As a result of the data collected by our incredible volunteers we have helped secure Scotland's carrier bag charge, a ban on plastic-stemmed cotton buds, Scotland's Marine Litter Strategy and the Deposit Return Scheme for cans and bottles due in 2022.

To become a Beachwatch Organiser please visit the website here. Find information on the Source to Sea Litter Quest here. For more information or to contact the Marine Conservation Society please visit www.mcsuk.org



Published: September 16th 2020