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MCS Beach Clean data reveals urgent need for all-inclusive UK Deposit Return Scheme

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The UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has released the results of its most recent Great British Beach Clean, a UK-wide weekend of coastal cleaning from Land’s End to the Shetland Islands and from Northern Ireland to the Channel Islands.

This year the Great British Beach Clean saw 437 beach cleans and litter surveys take place with over 10,800 volunteers getting involved to remove 10,833 kg of litter from the UK’s beaches…. That’s almost 11 tonnes of litter in one weekend alone. Over the past 26 years MCS has invited volunteers to become citizen scientists and not only clear the beach of litter, but record what they collect, providing valuable data to the charity on what’s polluting the UK’s beaches.

The five most common items per 100m of UK beach:

  1. Plastic/polystyrene pieces (0-50cm) – 143 per 100m
  2. Cigarette stubs – 42.6 per 100m
  3. Glass items (other) – 33.4 per 100m
  4. Plastic/polystyrene string – 32.6 per 100m
  5. Packaging (crisps, sweets, lollies and sandwiches) – 30.9 per 100m

Photo: Natasha Ewins

Data from this year’s Great British Beach Clean illustrates the urgent need for the UK’s Governments to implement an all-inclusive Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) which would not only minimise single-use plastic bottles littering the beaches, but would remove all types of drinks containers from the UK coastline including glass and cans. Over just one weekend of beach cleaning, MCS volunteers recorded over 16,000 drinks containers of varying forms and an average of four glass bottles for every 100m of beach surveyed. Whilst the potential dangers of single-use plastic bottles have been well documented, glass bottles and cans are equally as dangerous for not only marine life, but for beach visitors.

Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas said:

“It’s so important to ensure that we’re not taking our foot off the pedal to push the UK’s Governments to adopt all-inclusive DRS at the earliest possible opportunity. The Scottish Government’s commitment to an all-inclusive DRS is a fantastic step in the right direction, but it must be designed to include all drinks containers and must not exclude glass.  Delaying the implementation of DRS by a year would result in 50 million additional empty containers littering our beaches, it’s imperative that the planned 2021 implementation date is adhered to.”

“The consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland earlier this year received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public, with over 207,000 responses in favour of an all-inclusive DRS.  Disappointingly, the development of DRS for England and Wales has stalled, with the current Government indicating it would need to gather further evidence and to consult further before introducing DRS, the general election has added further delay. Around the world, 40 countries have DRS in place, significantly reducing litter levels and increasing recycling rates. In the meantime, a climate emergency has been declared and our data illustrates that drinks containers continue to pollute our marine environment whilst policy stalls.  Other countries have rolled out DRS and we need to act now. DRS should be one of the first policies implemented following the upcoming general election to protect our environment and kick-start behaviour change.”

At this year’s Great British Beach Clean 558 litter items were found per 100m of beach surveyed in the UK, illustrating why it is so important to continue fighting to reduce pollution on our beaches and to implement measures to stop marine pollution at source.  Whilst plastic pieces remain the most prolific form of litter (143 pieces found per 100m of beach), cigarette stubs (42 per 100m) and glass items (other) (33 per 100m) make up the top three most common litter items on UK beaches, illustrating the need for further policies, initiatives and bans to be put in place to reduce all forms of beach litter.

Lizzie Prior, Beachwatch Officer said:

“Great British Beach Clean data over the last 26 years has been instrumental in pushing for policies and initiatives which have made a real change to the marine environment, including the 5p carrier bag charge. We hope that this year’s data, when compared with the state of the UK’s beaches 26 years ago, will encourage even more people to get involved in our year round Beachwatch programme to help us gather important data and keep the UK’s beaches beautiful for generations to come.”

Thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch programme can conduct beach cleans year-round, gathering data which supports the charity’s campaigning to stop marine pollution at source.

For more information on the Great British Beach Clean and its 26 years of data, and to find beach cleans happening near you, please visit www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue AL-1300NP Camo Blue Dive Torch!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1300NP Camo Dive Torch as a prize!

This Bigblue AL-1300NP Camo Dive Torch delivers 1300 lumens of light powered by Li ion reachable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m.

SRP £150.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that Scuba Diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy has announced a substantial grant from military charity the Veterans’ Foundation. But how much was the grant for?

Was it:

  • A) £5K
  • B) £15K
  • C) £25K

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue AL-1300NP Camo Blue Dive Torch January 2022

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 02/03/22. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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Emperor Divers now open in new home in Sharm

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A new year, a new diving centre! Emperor Divers is back and fully open in Sharm el Sheikh.

Thousands of divers have dived with Emperor over the years in Sharm but it used to be a surprisingly small – and fairly nomadic – operation! However, last year the Emperor Divers team had the opportunity to take on the best-located dive centre in the whole of Sharm – the historic base in the Marina Sharm Hotel (formerly Helnan Marina Sharm Hotel) on the Southern corner of Na’ama Bay.

Emperor worked closely with the previous – and excellent – owners Werner Lau and Sinai Divers to take on their staff and add another chapter to this famous centre.

The diving centre has direct access to Na’ama Bay as its housereef, and the jetty many of you will have used before to board their boats Shorouk and Marcus is a two-minute walk away.

Now Ali, Elise and the team are already welcoming divers back to the warm, clear pristine reefs of Sharm, Tiran and Ras Mohamed – regarded by many as the best daily diving in the whole Red Sea.

Flights are regular from the UK and Europe and there are scores of hotels of every standard available within walking distance to the centre or further afield if you prefer.

This is a hugely exciting step for Emperor Divers in a fantastic location – as their Red Sea General Manager Luke Atkinson explained:

“Sharm el Sheikh got a reputation for astonishing diving because of the quality and variety on offer. Each single distinct area – whether Tiran, the coastal reefs of Sharm or the walls of Ras Mohamed – would be enough to call a destination ‘amazing’. To have all three in one destination is simply sensational.

It’s hard to pick highlights in a destination so blessed with quality diving, but The SS Thistlegorm is an underwater museum and widely regarded as one of the best wrecks in the world. The fish schooling event of Ras Mohamed in summer is truly world class, with walls of snapper, barracuda, batfish and many other species as they choose this one special area to mate.”

Find out more or book at www.emperordivers.com

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Competitions

A very popular liveaboard, Emperor Superior offers fantastic diving in comfortable surroundings. Her experienced crew make this one of the best for divers in the Red Sea.

WAS £1155pp / NOW from just £895 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 25kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox
  • Airport transfers

Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Limited spaces available.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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