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My Beach, Your Beach returns for another summer

17 May 2021

My Beach Your Beach is our campaign to protect the sand and sea at a selection of target beaches that face challenges with bathing water quality. These are: Kinghorn Harbour, Portobello and Fisherrow Sands on the east coast; and Ayr, Troon and Irvine on the west coast, as well as new campaign beach this year, Saltcoats/Ardrossan.

Last week, volunteers from the local communities were out completing litter surveys to capture a snapshot of the issue in advance of what is set to be another busy bathing season.

Over 2,500 items of litter were counted across the seven beaches, including dog poo, with an average of 450 items per 100 meters, showing that there is room to do better on this issue that not only ruins the view, but also pollutes the water and harms wildlife.

This year, the Year of Coasts and Waters, the campaign will focus on local communities as well as visitors to the beaches, encouraging them to help protect the sand and sea. We can all do this by being mindful of simple habits:

  • Putting litter in the bin or otherwise taking it away
  • Bagging and binning dog poo
  • Not feeding gulls (directly or indirectly) 
  • Putting fats oils and greases in the bin rather than pouring them down the drain
  • Flushing only the 3Ps, and especially not unflushables like wet wipes and other sanitary items

People will also be encouraged to help in other ways this summer, with litter surveys and litter picks on the beach and prom and helping to raise awareness with the available campaign materials. Also keep an eye out for some campaign packs for local businesses and educational resources for schools, to be rolled out later in the summer. 

You can find out more about bathing waters and the campaign on the My Beach Your Beach web page.

Last year, nearly 70% of people surveyed said they'd be willing to pick up litter when visiting the beach, in order to leave it cleaner than they found it.

Georgina Massouraki, Campaigns Officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “Natural spaces like beaches are now more precious than ever, as so many of us have discovered over a year of lockdowns. We are encouraging and supporting people to take a more active role in protecting these shared spaces and asking them to consider leaving the beach cleaner, rather than dirtier, than they found it. Plan ahead to leave no trace, simply taking an extra bag for your waste can help, and if everyone also picked up a few pieces of litter along the way it would make a massive difference.”

Ruth Stidson, Senior Scientist at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said, “Scotland is proud of its stunning coastlines and beautiful beaches. SEPA monitors the water quality across Scotland’s 85 designated bathing waters and supports the MBYB campaign in encouraging people visiting beaches to protect the beach and bathing water. Waste from animals or litter isn’t just unsightly but can have a negative impact on the water quality so we encourage the public to follow the advice to take litter home, to clean up after their dogs and to avoid feeding the gulls, ensuring a good beach experience for everyone who visits.”


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