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My Beach Your Beach links with Scotland’s Beach Awards to protect the sand and sea

For the second year, our My Beach Your Beach campaign has linked up with some of Scotland’s Beach Award beaches to promote beach stewardship and help protect the sand and sea. 

Scotland's Beach Awards (SBA) are the benchmark for quality, celebrating clean, well-managed and sustainable beaches. Our award-winning beaches demonstrate excellent beach management and environmental best practice, and the maintenance of high standards.

Eight of our award-winning beaches took part in the 2022 campaign to help improve environmental quality at participating beaches and to increase the recognition of the MBYB campaign across Scotland.

Online perception surveys were undertaken at three of the pilot beaches, demonstrating that an average of 75% of people would pick up litter when visiting the beach and 87% would take action to help protect their local beach. Up to 60% of people going to the beach to swim reported checking bathing water quality which is a great habit for beach goers to have.

Throughout the summer, the campaign raised awareness of bathing water quality and the key actions we can all take to protect the sand and sea: encouraging beach users to bin their rubbish or, if there are no bins, to take litter away; reminding beach goes with dogs to bag and bin their dog poo; and to never feed the gulls. To reduce the likelihood of blocked drains, we also promote the message to only flush the three Ps: pee, poo or (toilet) paper.

While the broader 2022 MBYB Report, released in January 2023, found the five most common types of litter found on beaches and surrounding areas to be cigarette stubs, plastic pieces, glass fragments, plastic snack packets and plastic bottle caps, the beaches involved in the SBA pilot recorded a higher proportion of sewage related debris and marine litter, with wet wipes taking the top spot over cigarette stubs by a small margin. A quarter of litter reported was from food and drink related sources.

Emma Glencross, Campaigns Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: "Linking the My Beach, Your Beach campaign messaging with Scotland’s Beach Awards is a natural connection to help raise awareness and encourage behaviour change in relation to the things that people can do in their communities to protect the sand and sea.

"Simple actions like putting litter in the bin and bagging and binning dog waste can make a big difference to our beach environments.

“I’d like to thank all the partners, communities and individuals involved in this pilot over the past two years who have helped to make the campaign a success and whose actions have contributed to improving bathing water quality.”

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

The My Beach Your Beach the campaign was led by Keep Scotland Beautiful and funded by the Scottish Government and supported by SEPA. It sits alongside Scotland’s Beach Awards as well as our Upstream Battle and Clean Up Scotland campaigns.

Applications for Scotland’s Beach Awards 2023 are open until 31 March. Visit our Get Awarded page now to download an application form before time runs out.

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

20 March 2023

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