The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading marine charity, working to protect the seas, shores and wildlife around the UK. As more of us are heading to local beaches to get a fix of sea air following lockdown, the charity talks about some of the ways we can all play our part in protecting the ocean for the future…

Throughout July, the Marine Conservation Society is asking members of the public to #PlasticChallenge themselves. Every year, we usually encourage people to try going plastic-free, but this year looks a little different. We recognise that lockdown has made avoiding single-use plastic completely pretty difficult, so why not try making one small change and seeing if you can keep it up throughout the month and beyond? Perhaps swapping to bars of soap in the bathroom, or opting for loose fruit and veg in the kitchen? We’re providing tips, tricks and support throughout the month.

Alongside asking individuals to make small but impactful changes, we’re constantly working behind the scenes to make changes to policy. Right now, we’re asking for the public to support our petition which is calling on the Government to require all washing machines, new and old, by law, to include a microfibre filter. From one load of laundry, as many as 700,000 microfibres can flow into the water, ultimately polluting the ocean with tiny plastic fibres. A filter in washing machines would stop this flow of plastic directly into the water. Signing our petition shows your support for ending microfibre pollution through forward-thinking policy change.

Later this year, we’ll also be running our annual Great British Beach Clean, this year it’ll be running for a week, from 18th – 25th September. This is a huge citizen science project where we not only clear the beaches of litter, but collect all important data on what is polluting our beaches so that we can make real policy changes for the future. This year, rather than simply joining a pre-organised beach clean, we’re asking everyone to sign up, adopt a beach and organise their own beach clean and litter survey. The more beach cleans that are organised, the more data we have, and the better the UK’s beaches look!

There are so many ways to get involved in our work, whether you’re near or far from a beach; making sure you #KeepItClean and take your litter home, no matter where you are, or signing petitions to support better protections for the ocean. For more information on our work and how to get involved, please visit our website.