Return to offender: campaigners send beach litter back to producers

Marine campaign group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is calling on those visiting the coast to pick up a piece of litter and send it back to where it came from.

As part of its effort to highlight the importance of looking after our seas and beaches in the run up to World Ocean Day, which falls on June 8, the organisation is urging members of the public to track down marine litter which still shows trademarks or logos and post it back to the manufacturer.

The initiative is part of the ongoing SAS Return To Offender marine litter campaign which calls on companies to step up the anti-littering message on their products, look at using less harmful packaging to ensure products can be broken down naturally without putting wildlife at risk, promote recycling and/or reuse wherever possible and to support community beach litter initiatives or inland anti-litter projects.

"Unfortunately, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that marine litter will affect all UK beaches," said an SAS spokesperson.

"Even beaches that look clean at first sight, on closer inspection, will have marine litter on them. Marine litter, by it's very definition comes from humans. So it is up to us to start to tackle this problem.

"World Ocean Day is a great excuse to head to the beach and do something positive for the environment. Find a piece of marine litter with the company name and address still on it.

"The more parcels these companies get, the more pressure they will feel to protect our environment."

As well as being an eyesore, marine litter is a growing environmental problem.

Because much of the litter is plastic-based it biodegrades at a very slow rate so more and more waste is building up in our seas.

As well as choking wildlife which can confuse bits of plastic for tasty morsels, much of the waste contains toxic chemicals which leech into the ocean.

litter on British beaches has doubled in the past decade (see related story)

Sam Bond


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