Whilst used for a moment, plastic lasts for a lifetime in our oceans and causes irreversible damage. From the largest mammals and fish to the sea birds which fly above the ocean, evidence of animals ingesting plastic, leading to their death, is hard to ignore.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) works tirelessly towards stopping too much being put into, and taken out of, our seas. Along with turning the tide on plastic, marine litter and pollution, MCS works toward a sustainable future by minimising the harm caused by harvesting the sea's resources.
Through programmes such as Beachwatch, Marine Conservation Society not only helps to clear the UK's beaches of litter which would otherwise end up in our oceans, but it also gathers important data which informs wider campaigns and influences government policy. Information gathered by their volunteers has influenced and contributed to policies that have made a direct impact on our oceans for the better, including the five pence plastic bag charge, the banning of microbeads in wash-off products and a reduction in the use of plastic straws. MCS' annual Good Fish Guide, supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, advises consumers on how to shop sustainably for seafood, a crucial step in safeguarding vulnerable species and protecting the sea's resources.
The Great British Beach Clean
With the support of our players, the MCS is running its 26th annual Great British Beach Clean event. The Great British Beach Clean is a UK-wide series of events held from 20th to 23rd September which, alongside clearing the UK's coastline of litter, gathers important data on what specific items are littering our shores. This data is used as evidence to lobby government and contribute to impactful, tangible change. Over 14,000 volunteers took part last year, participating in almost 500 events. MCS hopes to make this year's events even bigger.
Thanks to our players, MCS has been awarded £2.1 Million to fund their marine litter projects and sustainable seafood works.