M&S collects 11,500kg of litter from Britain‘s beaches


A set of false teeth, half a sofa uncovered in Edinburgh and a cabinet in Liverpool were all part of the debris cleaned up over the weekend in the latest venture by retailer Marks & Spencer.

The Big Beach Clean, part of the company‘s ongoing Forever Fish campaign, was organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and saw over 100 UK beaches and canals being cleaned up by 6,000 M&S staff over the weekend.

M&S wanted to use the campaign to educate children and customers about protecting and conserving marine wildlife, and the environmental damage that is created by waste & littering.

Results from the campaign over the weekend show that over 3,200 bin bags full of litter were collected, weighing in at over 11,500 kg. This included about 12,800 wrappers and 2,850 tin cans. Other oddities found during the overhaul included a ten pin bowling ball and a carpet.

This latest environmental initiative is part of the M&S corporate responsibility programme Plan A which looks to encourage recycling, cut down environmental waste and support ethical manufacturing.

Steve Rowe, Director of Retail Marks and Spencer, commented: “It‘s great to see so many customers and employees getting directly involved in Plan A.

“MCS surveys show that there are almost two pieces of litter on every metre of UK coastline – thanks to the efforts put in over the weekend, our seas and rivers are now cleaner and our coastline environment is in better shape.

“We‘re passionate about protecting our marine life and I‘d like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who rolled their sleeves up and got involved.”

Other schemes recently launched by M&S under the Plan A initiative include a clothes swapping (or Shwopping) campaign fronted by actress & model Joanna Lumley, and the launch of the first ever carbon neutral bra.

Initially introduced in 2008, the Plan A campaign is funded by the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S foodhalls, and to date it has raised £4 million for charity and reduced carrier bag usage by 80 per cent in stores.