The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK's leading marine charity working to ensure the seas around our island nation are healthy, pollution-free, protected, and bubbling with life.

Thanks to £875,000 in funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery between 2014 and 2017, MCS has been able to increase the work it does to help preserve our seas for generations to come.

UK beaches are indicators of the cleanliness of the seas that surround us. Since MCS began its Beachwatch beach cleaning and litter survey project over two decades ago, the charity has recorded a steady rise in beach litter. But support from players is helping the charity fight this rising tide of filth.

In the last year alone, the extra funding has helped MCS play a leading role in getting commitment from the Government to ban microbeads in personal care products, persuade manufacturers and retailers to remove plastics in 'flushable' wet wipes, and improve labelling on commonly mis-flushed items. MCS has also been at the forefront of putting bottle deposit return schemes on the agenda of the Scottish Government and Westminster.

MCS Head of volunteer Engagement, Justine Millard said, "Support from players of People's Postcode Lottery has helped us to reach many more people through our national volunteer engagement programmes, and spread the MCS message to thousands of new people."

MCS has also been able to encourage more and more people to choose to eat only seafood that is caught sustainably by distributing thousands of copies of its Pocket Good Fish Guide and creating an updated Good Fish Guide phone app.

MCS Sustainable Seafood Advocate, Rajina Gurung says, "Thanks to funding from the players of People's Postcode Lottery, we've been able to encourage more people and businesses to choose sustainable seafood. We've influenced approximately 300 Million meals in the last year!"

Deborah Meaden, MCS Ocean Ambassador and Dragons' Den investor said, "I'm honoured to have been asked to be an Ocean Ambassador by MCS this year. It's heartening to see the widening scope of their work, and it's clear that they are promoting behaviour changes which will benefit our seas for the future - and that people really are sitting up and taking note."

Ben Garrod, MCS Ocean Ambassador, evolutionary biologist and TV presenter, says, "It's great to see the MCS profile being raised through their tireless work to clean up the UK's beaches. They've turned the data their volunteers collect into positive changes by individuals retailers, industry, and government."

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A seal tangled in litter found on our beaches