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My Beach Your Beach Campaign 2022 Reports Success

Communities dive in to protect the sand and sea at their local beaches

Our 2022 My Beach, Your Beach report finds that ninety-three percent of Scottish people are willing to or already take action to protect their beach.

The campaign was launched in 2018, and over the last five years has supported bathing water quality improvements at seven Scottish beaches, with the campaign report revealing that 45% of beach users check bathing water quality. The sites included in the campaign are Fisherrow Sands, Portobello Beach, Kinghorn Harbour, Irvine, Saltcoats/ Ardrossan, Ayr and Troon beaches. The campaign was supported by local community groups at each of the beaches.

Throughout the summer, we raised awareness of bathing water quality and the key habits that can impact it, encouraging beach users to bag and bin their dog poo, take all their litter away and to never feed the gulls as well as only flushing the three Ps: pee, poo or paper. The campaign supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation.

The report highlights that the five most common types of litter found on beaches and surrounding areas were cigarette stubs, plastic pieces, glass fragments, plastic snack packets and plastic bottle caps.

Emma Glencross, our Campaigns Officer, saidMy Beach, Your Beach is a wonderful collaborative campaign which has raised awareness of what people can do in their own communities to care for the sand and sea.

“The results we have produced prove that communities play a vital role in protecting the sea and sand at their local beaches.

“I’d like to thank all the partners, communities and individuals who have worked with us this summer and in past years to make the campaign a success and whose actions have contributed to delivering real improvements in bathing water quality.”

Ruth Stidson, SEPA’s Principal Scientist for Bathing Waters, said: “Scotland’s bathing water quality continues to improve, with more rated ‘excellent’ in 2023 than ever before. The largest number of designated bathing waters on record is also good news for the communities, businesses and visitors who enjoy our coastlines.

“We know reducing pollution at bathing waters typically requires action from a range of organisations and people. Progress is being made and the My Beach, Your Beach campaign is an example of how SEPA works with partners such as Keep Scotland Beautiful.

“This campaign’s straightforward messaging highlights how we can all improve the cleanliness of our beaches and bathing waters by making small changes that, combined with wider actions, can make a big difference.”

We led the campaign, funded by the Scottish Government and supported by SEPA, and it sits alongside our Upstream Battle and Clean Up Scotland campaigns and Scotland’s Beach Awards.

You can have the opportunity to protect the sea and sand from the litter emergency at your local beaches during Spring Clean 2023 which runs from 17 March to 17 April.

Read the full report or find out more about the campaign here.

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26 January 2023

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