Beach cleans taking place across Norfolk and Suffolk coast this weekend
- Credit: Archant
Litter pickers will be out in force to tackle growing amounts of rubbish across the region's coastline this weekend as part of the country's largest beach clean.
The Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) Great British Beach Clean began today (Friday, September 15) and runs until Monday, September 18, with events in places such as Sheringham, Southwold, Hunstanton and Great Yarmouth.
The MCS says beach litter has risen steadily over the past two decades - but there are signs progress is being made as the number of single-use plastic bags found on UK beaches almost halved between 2015 and 2016.
Ben Orchard, environmental sustainability manager at Adnams, is organising the company's beach clean in Southwold tomorrow (Saturday, September 16).
He said: 'Often litter is quite hidden because it's covered up when the tide comes in or by the sand.
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'That then has an environmental impact and an impact on the wildlife around.
'Unfortunately it's something people think they're allowed to do - they bury it in the sand thinking they've got rid of it.'
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He said keeping the area clean is important to 'ensure it remains a nice, strong family beach that people want to come to'.
Lizzie Prior, MCS beach and river clean project officer, said: 'Taking part in the Great British Beach Clean really can make a difference.
'Beach litter is a serious environmental problem. But the solution is in our hands.
'We want the Great British Beach Clean weekend to offer a snapshot of what the future could look like for the British seaside by reducing the amount of litter that reaches our shores – so the more volunteers we have, the clearer that picture will be.
'Cleaning and surveying a beach only takes a couple of hours at most. Each beach has a coordinator, who explains how to fill in a simple data form, and then it's just a case of grabbing a litter picker and a bin bag and filling it up with rubbish.'
To see where the events are taking place, visit www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/events/gbbc-map