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SAS Autumn Beach Clean: Summit to Sea 2019 Report

This year has seen SAS launch their Summit to Sea beach clean initiative, encouraging volunteers across the whole of the UK to get involved with removing plastic pollution from their local areas, no matter where they live.

Starting in spring this year, the project aims to show people that even if you live in a city in the middle of the country, you can be a beach cleaner. By removing plastic pollution from our streets and parks we are preventing it from entering our rivers and travelling into the ocean.

SAS Autumn beach clean summit to sea

The Summit to Sea series has been a real success with 757 cleans taking place during the spring, 25.4% over target. The momentum continued into the autumn with a further 604 cleans taking place, 33.5% over target.

The Numbers

  • 604 cleans across the UK –33.56% over the target of 400.
  • 33,334.43kg of plastic pollution removed – 10.01% over the target of 30,000kg. (This is the equivalent of 8,333.60 full sacks.)
  • 27,305 volunteers joined us from across the UK – 26.76% over the target of 20,000.
  • 59 Ocean Activists Plastic Audit entries – although this number will rise to over 100
  • as time goes on.
  • 92,149 volunteer hours were donated across the Autumn Beach Clean.
  • 62% of Clean Leaders have previously led cleans with SAS before, showing the
  • strength of the community these cleans have created.

The Autumn Beach Clean: Summit to Sea has continued the trend seen over the past few years, generating both an increase in the interest and number of cleans registered with SAS and the spread of cleans across the UK. The number of cleans that took place in other regions increased from Autumn 2018. The most significant increase in the number of cleans registered occurred in Scotland where a rise of 12% was experienced.

The other significant change this year was the increase in the number of river cleans taking place since the Autumn Beach and River Clean in 2018 formally introduced the inclusion of river cleans. An increase of 18.7% was seen in the number of river cleans taking place this autumn. 

SAS Beach Clean at Perranport - Credit Ian Lean

As well as the increased promotion of these cleans, the increase may partly be the result of the Summit to Sea message – that we can all be beach cleaners and make a difference wherever we live.

It was also noted that there seemed to be an increase in the number of Plastic Free Community groups organising cleans. Conducting clean-ups, whilst raising awareness of SAS and the issues we work on, count towards Objective 4 in a community’s journey towards achieving Plastic Free Community approved status. This increase is also likely due in part to the increase in the number of communities signed up to the programme. An additional 313 communities have signed up in the last year.