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Sign up to tackle the UK’s beach litter in the biggest beach clean ever

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The Great British Beach Clean seeks thousands of volunteers for its 26th annual clean-up

The UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), is looking for thousands of volunteers to clean up the nation’s beaches during its 2019 Great British Beach Clean event (20th -23rd September).

Last year, 15,000 volunteers took part, that was double the number in 2017. They removed an incredible 8,550 kilos of litter from beaches around the UK.

The Great British Beach Clean is not just a beach cleaning event. Volunteer cleaners become citizen scientists, as they also record the litter they find along a designated 100m stretch of every beach that’s cleaned, and it’s this aspect that has helped MCS change policy and behaviours over the last 25 years.  Last year, 600 items of litter were found on every 100 metres.

The 5p carrier bag charge, a ban on microbeads in wash-off products, consultations on a plastic tax, commitments to deposit return schemes, reduction in the use of plastic straws and the banning of lantern and balloon releases – all have come about following compelling evidence gathered over decades by volunteers at MCS beach cleans. Since 2011, when the 5p single-use carrier bag charge was first introduced, there’s been a decrease of almost 50% in plastic bags found on UK beaches.

494 beaches around the UK coast were cleaned in 2018 (155 more than in 2017), making last year’s Great British Beach Clean the biggest MCS had ever organised. Thanks to programmes like Blue Planet II, beach cleaning has become a cool thing to do, says MCS.

Beach cleans take place from Cornwall to Cumbria, Denbighshire to County Down, Hampshire to the Highlands and all places in between. The event incorporates the Great Channel Islands Beach Clean and the Great Northern Irish Beach Clean.

This year, for the first time, the Great British Beach Clean will be sponsored by the Ocado Foundation, the charitable arm of the online supermarket.  The Foundation will be sponsoring the event to the tune of £300,000 as part of the Environmental Pillar of its ‘Ocado Way – Corporate Responsibility Strategy’.

Less litter on UK beaches will save the lives of some of our best loved marine wildlife, protect our kids when they’re building sand castles and show the world what the great British seaside really looks like beneath its escalating mountain of rubbish, says Lizzie Prior, MCS Beachwatch Officer. “Taking part in the Great British Beach Clean really can make a difference. In previous years when we’ve highlighted increases in dog poo bags and sewage related debris found on beaches, we’ve seen drops in numbers subsequently. Due to the massive increase in wet wipes we found between 2013 and 2015, we were able to launch our ‘Wet Wipes Turn Nasty’ campaign which has resulted in improvements in labelling, removal of plastic from ‘flushable’ wet wipes in retailers’ own brands, and helped introduce the ‘Fine to Flush’ logo – a water industry standard.”

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. And even if the beach looks clean at first glance, you can be sure it really isn’t!

Beach litter is a serious environmental problem,” says Lizzie Prior. “But the solution is in our hands. We want the 26th Great British Beach Clean weekend to be the biggest ever. The BBC’s Blue Planet II and subsequent programmes have given the UK public a real understanding of the pollution crisis facing our oceans and now people want to make a difference. The more volunteers we have, the better it’ll be for our seas.”

Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Corporate Affairs, said on behalf of the Ocado Foundation: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with the Marine Conservation Society on the GBBC. As a retailer we take our responsibilities with waste very seriously. We are very proud to be part of the event and the clean-up of Britain’s beaches it will achieve.”

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery also support the Marine Conservation Society beach litter programme.

Sign up to a clean near you at: www.mcsuk.org/greatbritishbeachclean and if you can’t find an event on your preferred beach, call 01989 566017 and find out how you can organise your own.

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And the winner of our Waterproof BODY 2X Power Stretch Hollow Fiber Undergarment competition is…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a Waterproof BODY 2X Power Stretch Hollow Fiber Undergarment as a prize!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Megan Kinsey from the UK

Congratulations Megan – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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Aqualung launches all new XSCAPE Collection featuring eco-responsible wetsuit

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Aqualung has announced the launch of its all new XSCAPE collection. Featuring a 100 percent neoprene-free wetsuit and a rash guard made from sustainable materials, the XSCAPE line is designed for a variety of water activities and reflects Aqualung’s commitment to innovation, ocean discovery and sustainability.

Made with Yulex® eco-friendly natural rubber and ultra-stretch fabric, the 4/3mm XSCAPE wetsuit provides enhanced comfort for diving in warm waters or above surface activities in colder temperatures, and can be used for scuba diving, snorkeling, freediving, paddling or a variety of other water sports. The flexible and lightweight XSCAPE wetsuit, available in a red and olive design for men and a tropical-inspired print for women, connects consumers to nature and the natural materials the collection is made from. The suit also features Powertex knee pads, recycled, quick-drying fleece around the torso area to provide additional warmth and comfort, and a reusable mesh bag for storage after use or collecting trash from the beach or water.

“The XSCAPE collection continues Aqualung’s legacy in innovation and their tireless work to create the most forward thinking and eco-conscious dive company in the world,” said Aqualung global ocean ambassador Philippe Cousteau Jr., the grandson of one of Aqualung’s original founders, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. “We all have the power to change the world with the choices we make and the XSCAPE sets the new standard for wetsuits and rash guards that are stylish, functional and sustainable.”

The new collection’s long-sleeve rash guard for men and women, and matching women’s leggings, offer maximum comfort and breathability and can be used above or below the surface. All rash guards and leggings feature UV protection and are made with polyester fabric sourced from recycled plastic bottles. The entire XSCAPE line comes in plastic-free packaging with hangtags made from recycled cardboard.

“Our aim was to design the ultimate eco-friendly wetsuit that could be used for all kinds of water sports,” said Laurent Boury, Senior Vice President of Brands at Aqualung Group. “Aqualung is committed to using environmentally-friendly materials and processes whenever possible to help reduce our carbon footprint and we made design choices to ensure the XSCAPE collection was as sustainable as possible.”

“The collection name, XSCAPE, is meant to evoke the feeling of freedom and the quest for wonder that surround exploration, travel, and Aqualung’s storied history, including the first “aqua-lung” created by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan that made underwater exploration possible,” added Boury.

To learn more please visit www.aqualung.com.

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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 john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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