Connect with us

Marine Life & Conservation

Public remains steadfast in their call for Deposit Return Schemes



The Marine Conservation Society has shared the results of a public survey which shows the continued support of the public for Deposit Return Schemes (DRS). In England, 77% of adults said they supported the scheme and in Wales, 72% of adults were in support.

The charity surveyed the public’s opinion of a DRS in 2017, finding similarly high levels of support for the scheme – 73% in England and 71% in Wales.

In early 2018, then Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced that a DRS would be introduced in England. Consumers would pay a small deposit on top of the price of a drink, which is then refunded when the bottle or can is returned to a designated destination. The proposed launch for the scheme is now 2024, seven years after Westminster first announced it, during which time billions of bottles and cans will continue to pollute the environment.

The Scottish Government has already committed to having a Deposit Return Scheme in place by 2022, leaving England and Wales falling behind.

Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society says: “Deposit Return Schemes would have an immediate and tangible impact on the amount of drinks related litter we see on the UK’s beaches year in, year out. Apart from the progress in Scotland, the other UK governments have offered nothing but empty promises since 2017 and it’s high time there were firm commitments and frameworks put in place.”

The charity’s annual Great British Beach Clean has found drinks litter consistently throughout the 27 years the events have been running. Drinks related litter, including bottle caps and lids, cans, and glass or plastic bottles, are a common occurrence on the UK’s beaches. Over the last 5 years an average of 45 drinks containers were found on each 100 metres of beach cleaned by Marine Conservation Society volunteers.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the charity this month found that across England and Wales, the public are supportive of a DRS including not just plastic bottles (77% in England and 76% in Wales), but also glass (75%), cans (67% in England and 63% in Wales) and cartons (57% in England and 58% in Wales).

The Marine Conservation Society has seen the positive effects of pollution-busting policies in the past:

Dr Laura Foster continues: “Carrier bag charges gave a value to a throwaway item and as a result, we’ve seen consistently less plastic bags on beaches. Deposit Return Schemes would undoubtedly have the same effect. Giving bottles and cans a value, as little as a 20p deposit, would encourage everyone to not only think twice before throwing them away, but also consider picking up bottles and cans they see in the environment.”

Since the introduction of the 5p single-use carrier bag charges in 2010 in Wales, and 2015 in England, the Marine Conservation Society has seen a 55% drop in the number of bags found on UK beaches. The drastic drop in plastic bags on beaches shows the real impact policies have on the state of the UK’s seas and beaches.

A second consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is set to close on Friday 4th June, 2021. The Marine Conservation Society wants to see more urgent action being taken and is asking the public to tweet their MP to let them know that our ocean counts and we need a Deposit Return Scheme, now, to save our seas.

For more information on how to respond to the consultation, and the Marine Conservation Society’s work on the Deposit Return Scheme, please visit the charity’s website:

Photo: Catherine Gemmell – MCS

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit


Marine Life & Conservation

Scubaverse meet the Ullapool Sea Savers



On a recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland we met up with an amazing bunch of ocean conservationists called the Ullapool Sea Savers. They are a passionate group of young people based in the beautiful coastal town of Ullapool who are working to protect the marine environment around them and it was a real pleasure to hear their ideas and to witness just how committed they are to their cause.

They are a group run by kids for kids, in response to the inspirational work of local marine campaigner Noel Hawkins. Their core premise is that people will protect what they love and they aim to show people just how much there is to love about the sea. The Ullapool Sea Savers keep things positive and work to inspire those around them and each other.

Each Sea Saver is a Species Champion, and they nominate their preferred species, learn all about them and then present a “fact fie” to the rest of the group. This ties in with the Species Champion Initiative launched by Scottish Environment LINK which asks Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to lend political support to the protection of Scotland’s threatened wildlife by becoming ‘Species Champions’. This has led to some great support from MSPs when it comes to campaigning, such as Maree Todd MSP and Minister for Children and Young People (who is also from Ullapool which helped!) becoming the Flameshell Species Champion and working closely with Caillin who is Flameshell Ambassador for the Ullapool Sea Savers. Similarly, Gail Ross MSP for our region, took on the role of Seagrass Species Champion and helped USS campaign against plans to allow Mechanical Kelp Extraction (Dredging!) to be given the go ahead in Scotland. There are plenty more example of this great partnering scheme here.

On top of this, the Ullapool Sea Savers have formed pods, and each small group selects a local campaign to work on, with the “New Wave” working on a “Drain Campaign” to educate people that litter dropped on the street ends up in the surrounding sea. They recently surveyed the litter by the first drain in the campaign and found over 300 cigarette butts that would have all washed out to sea during the next rainfall.

The “Blue Starfish” are working on a crisp packet recycling campaign, starting at the local school with hopes to widen the scale going forward. There is now also the newly formed Seal Pups Pod and we look forward to seeing what campaign they decide to focus on.

Many of the group have passed qualifications in snorkeling, diving, boat handling and they are currently learning to operate an ROV that they plan to use to mark underwater litter and ghost nets so it can be retrieved by divers. The group are also regularly found litter-picking along the coastline. As a group they have a powerful voice and recently won the Sunday Mail, Young Scot Awards 2021 for the Environment Category.

The older kids mentor some of the younger ones that are new to joining the group and what really struck us on meeting the group was how keen they were to pass on their wealth of knowledge and their passion for ocean conservation. We chatted to them about what we do and told them about some of our favourite marine life encounters from around the world. I hope we inspired them just a fraction as much as they inspired us! 

To find out more about the Ullapool Sea Savers you can visit their website by clicking here.

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

Discover Whale Sharks in the Galapagos tomorrow with Regaldive



Regaldive are inviting divers to join them next Wednesday for a virtual tour of the Galapagos Islands.  Marine biologist Sofía Green will give an insight into her incredible encounters with Whale Sharks.

An expert on Whale Shark behaviour, Sofía has been part of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project since 2017 and is at the forefront of global Whale Shark research. She will also be leading Regaldive’s exclusive Whale Shark Expedition in September 2022, timed to visit during prime Whale Shark season. Founder of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project, Jonathan Green, will also be joining the Zoom event taking questions so do join them to find out more.

  • Date: Wednesday, 16 June
  • Timings: 7-8 pm (UK time)

Register via email here to book your place and let the team know if you have any questions you would like to ask Sofia and Jonathan.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

More Less

Instagram Feed