Great British Beach Clean: Litter Quest

Plenty has changed since the pandemic entered our lives but the presence of plastic waste on our shores is still a problem that needs tackling. Now more than ever, help is needed to stop the plastic tide from rising. So our Charity Officer, Jess has been discovering what we can do inland with the help of the Marine Conservation Society to keep plastic out of our oceans.


Here at Abel & Cole we think rubbish is… well, rubbish. But did you know that 80% of all ocean debris comes from inland towns and cities? Last year our friends at the Marine Conservation Society put together their annual report from the Great British Beach Clean dishing the dirt on marine waste, all with the help of intrepid litter pickers volunteering across the UK (you can read more about Abel & Cole’s own effort last summer here). Though the event itself may seem like just a fun day out doing good, the data collected each year is also essential in highlighting what types of rubbish show up the most, and help MCS form their vital campaigns on what to tackle next.

Whilst social distancing prevents us from flocking to the beach with our usual tidy-team, the unfortunate reality remains that our oceans and beaches are still full of disposable nasties. But we can still help stop this litter finding its way to our coasts and waterways with some actions made closer to home. So MCS have created an event to round up rubbish right where it starts – with their Source to Sea Litter Quest.

What is the Litter Quest and how can I get involved?

During the Great British Beach Clean week starting on Friday 18th September and finishing Friday 25th, MCS are calling on the public (yes, you!) to host smaller inland litter picks for you and your social bubble who can’t make it to the seashore. This can be in your local park, footpath or even down your own street. By signing up here and downloading your Litter Quest Form, you’ll be able to cross off items you find and then recycle or bin them before they get washed away to become another statistic. With the pandemic seeing the return of single use plastic-lined cups and PPE, now more than ever we need to roll up our sleeves and pitch in.

Here at Abel & Cole we’ll be setting up our own picking parties, so why not make a day of it?

What typically ends up in our seas?

Litter picking in 2019

Last year’s Beach clean surveys found the following per 100m of beachfront:

•            143 pieces of plastic/polystyrene

•            Over 42 cigarette stubs

•            Over 30 crisp packets

•            Over 20 caps and bottle lids

Fun for all ages

If you or someone you know is a teacher or youth group leader, MCS are also hosting a range of activities for 5 - 18 year olds throughout the week, including online lessons, the Litter Quest itself and suggestions for follow up activities.

They would love as many schools, home education groups, Beavers, Guides and groups of young people to get involved in this national project and get outdoors safely. You can find MCS’s Education Pack here.

Want to help keep harmful rubbish out of our oceans? Stop it at the source by signing up for your own Source to Sea Litter Quest today. What’s more, you can show MCS your efforts by posting pics of your litterbug-busting checklist with the hashtag #LitterQuest. You can find your little picking sheet here.

Reap the rewards of a cleaner, clearer sea with our Fantastic Fish Box

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