Surfers Against Sewage call for innovative new measures to rid the UK coastline of marine litter

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) has launched a crucial new environmental report calling for a 50% reduction in UK beach litter by 2020. The Marine Litter Report sounds the alarm for the UK’s trashed tidelines, highlighting the environmental impacts on marine ecosystems and wildlife, and the unaffordable costs to industries including fisheries and tourism.

The Marine Litter Report, launched at SAS’s inaugural Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group, highlights the scale of the marine litter crisis and suggests radical new measures to stem the flow of litter to our oceans, waves and beaches. The report calls for cohesive and effective anti-marine litter measures from all sections of society including community action, increased company responsibility and new government legislation.

Hugo Tagholm, SAS Chief Executive says: “Marine litter is one of the biggest threats to the health of our precious marine environment and it’s vital that we ramp up our collective actions to combat the crisis. Surfers Against Sewage’s Marine Litter Report maps out radical, yet tried and tested, new measures that can deliver a cleaner, greener coastline by 2020. Cutting off the flow of marine litter at source is critical to our vision to stop plastic and other debris from polluting our beaches.”

Surfers Against Sewage suggests innovative new initiatives to stop marine litter at source, including:

  • implementing smoking bans on beaches
  • introducing prominent environmental health warnings on single-use packaging
  • reinstating container deposit schemes
  • and better enforcing fines for littering along our coastline.

The report also calls on the public to refuse single-use plastic products where possible and for industry to be more accountable for the full lifecycle of packaging and products through extended producer responsibility schemes.

Key facts

  • Approximately 8 million individual items of litter enter the sea every day;
  • The amount of beach litter in the UK has doubled in the last 20 years;
  • 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles die annually from ingestion of and entanglement in marine litter;
  • Local Authorities in the UK spend £18 million annually removing beach litter;
  • Surfers Against Sewage aims to inspire 25,000 beach clean volunteers annually by 2020.

Download the full report at www.sas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/SAS-Marine-Litter-Report-Med.pdf

More about SAS at www.sas.org.uk

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