Leading high street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced today that it will be supporting the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) in cleaning up British beaches this spring.
The first ever M&S Big British Clean-up will take part between Friday May 11th and Sunday 13th 2012 at 50 locations around the country, and the retailer is hoping that thousands of its customers will get involved in the conservation event.
Beaches will be inundated with helpers over these days looking to remove such detritus and rubbish from the shoreline as fishing nets, ropes and bottle tops.
As part of its corporate and social responsibility, M&S is hoping that the event will not only improve the health of the UK’s coastlines but also raise awareness regarding environmental dangers to vital fishing stocks.
Richard Gillies, Director of the retailer’s ethical programme Plan A, said: “Our customers care passionately about where their food comes from, especially fish.
“We only source from the most sustainable sources, but this is something more, this is our chance to get out onto beaches with our customers and take direct action to help protect marine life and our coastline.”
M&S will be enticing customers to the beach by offering money-off vouchers to participants and stocking the event with lots of snacks.
Six of the beaches involved in the event, including Clacton-on-sea and Cramond near Edinburgh, will also be treated to a free barbeque and kids games organised by the National Schools Partnership.
Since 2008 the 5p charge for carrier bags in M&S foodhalls has been collected as part of a Fish Forever campaign which has raised more than £4 million for charity and reduced carrier bag usage by 80 per cent, however litter on beaches still remains a serious problem.
MCS Chief Executive Samantha Fanshaw added: “MCS surveys have shown that litter levels are unacceptably high.
“We are delighted that M&S staff and customers recognise the importance of clean seas and beaches and will be joining forces with us in this major event to help turn the tide on litter.”