- Big Beach Clean-up to clear litter on 140 beaches and canals
- Storm hit beaches to be targeted
- Thousands of volunteers to clear over 30 tonnes of litter
LONDON, 2014-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announces details of this year’s Big Beach Clean-up, which will tackle the scourge of litter on 95 UK beaches and 45 canals, including locations that were hit by recent storms.
In partnership with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the Canal & River Trust, this year’s M&S Big Beach Clean-up will take place between 24th and 30th April with thousands of volunteers – including M&S customers, employees and Marine Conservation Society volunteers – taking part.
The target is to clear more than last year’s massive haul of 30 tonnes of litter – the equivalent weight of two double decker buses. Customers that register in advance at www.mcsuk.org/foreverfish will receive a money-off M&S voucher on the day of their beach clean*.
Most of the litter collected will be common waste items such as fishing nets, ropes and bottles tops. However last year M&S beach and canal cleaners found an array of unusual items including a bath, coffee maker, HM Prison Service toothbrush and a Freeview box.
Additionally, MCS will take the opportunity to assess the impact this year’s storms have had on beach litter and debris. Locations such as Eastney (near Portsmouth), Exmouth (Devon), Chesil Cove (Dorset) and Hayle Towans (Cornwall), which were battered by recent storms, will be cleaned and surveyed by the volunteers.
Last year over 9,000 people (4,000 M&S employees and 5,000 M&S customers) volunteered and collected 4,000 bin bags full of litter after cleaning over 300km of beaches and canals.
Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our Big Beach Clean-up 2013 exceeded all expectations and made a significant impact on local communities. This year our beaches and canals, and in turn our marine life, need us and our army of volunteers more than ever before. It’s a fun, outdoor activity and I’m confident we can go one step further and surpass last year’s litter haul. And, as an incentive, there’s a £5 money-off voucher for every customer that gets involved.”
Samantha Fanshawe, MCS Chief Executive, said: “This week of action is a great opportunity to clean up some of our best loved beaches and remove litter that has built up following recent storms. Rubbish washed up or left on beaches not only harms wildlife but spoils our enjoyment of the coast too, so the more people that take part the more litter we can remove from harm’s way. Throughout the year, there will be activities and resources for schoolchildren to learn more about our seas and the fascinating marine life they support.”
Richard Parry, Chief Executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our canals are a two hundred year-old national treasure that are enjoyed by millions of people each year. They need looking after, and litter and debris can be a real problem, polluting water, restricting use of the canals and towpaths, and harming wildlife. That’s why we’re delighted to be joining forces again with Marks & Spencer and all the volunteers who take part in the Big Beach Clean-up. The event will build on the work that is done every day to keep the waterways in the best possible condition, with this year’s event set to be bigger and better than ever.”
The M&S Big Beach Clean-up is part of M&S’ Forever Fish campaign which is funded by the profits from the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S foodhalls. Since its introduction in 2008, the charge has reduced carrier bag use by 75 per cent and raised over £6 million for good causes.
Notes to editors
* £5 off a £30 spend on food and drink at M&S (terms and conditions apply).
Forever Fish is funded by the profits from the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S Foodhalls. The three year project, launched in 2011 will:
- Set-up and run ‘School of Fish’, an education programme to inspire 400,000 primary school pupils to learn more about protecting the future of fish;
- Encourage as many of M&S’ customers and employees as possible to help the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) clean British beaches;
- Invest over £1 million in WWF projects that help better manage UK fish stocks, such as cod, and protect important species like dolphins and turtles;
- Help customers make healthy and more sustainable choices by promoting more high quality, sustainably-sourced fish and introducing lesser known and more plentiful species such as Dab and Flounder.
The Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment. MCS produces the annual Good Beach Guide, the Good Fish Guide and Fishonline on sustainable seafood, as well as involving thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as MCS Beachwatch and The Big Beach Clean-up. www.mcsuk.org.
The Canal & River Trust
The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales. We are among the largest charities in the UK, maintaining the nation’s third largest collection of Listed structures, as well as museums, archives, navigations and hundreds of important wildlife sites.
We believe that our canals and rivers are a national treasure and a local haven for people and wildlife. It is our job to care for this wonderful legacy – holding it in trust for the nation in perpetuity and giving people a greater role in the running of their local waterways.
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Daniel Himsworth, Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1618
Marine Conservation Society: Richard Harrington, 01989 561585
Canal & River Trust: Jonathan Ludford, 0203 204 4514