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Liam McArthur joins Great British Beach Clean

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur.

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, will be one of many volunteers helping to clean up Orkney’s coastline later this month as part of a UK-wide beach cleaning event.

The Great British Beach Clean is the biggest annual beach clean-up and survey in the UK and is organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). 

The event is now in its 26th year and MCS hopes to beat what was a record-breaking 2018 with even more beach cleans organised and more volunteers getting involved. Last year, 2,913 Scottish volunteers took part, removing an incredible 75,807 individual items of litter at 135 beach cleans along 15,680 metres of Scottish coastline.

Data collected by volunteers from over 25 years of MCS-led Great British Beach Cleans has been instrumental in the introduction of Scotland’s 5p single-use carrier bag charge, commitments to implement a ban on plastic stemmed cotton buds and to introduce a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans.

Mr McArthur will be joining the citizen science project to help clear and survey the litter found on Echna Loch Bay, Burray on Monday, September 23.

“Orkney has a fine tradition when it comes to ‘bag the bruck’,” says Mr McArthur.

“I have been involved in such clean up efforts since I was at school in Sanday.

“Of course, these days there is a greater public awareness of marine litter, and concern about the problems caused by plastic pollution in our seas.

“I’m looking forward to joining volunteers of all ages at Echna Loch Bay to support the Great British Beach Clean campaign. This will be just one of many such clean ups taking place across the country. As well as helping tidy up our beaches and coastlines, I hope the initiative helps highlight the importance of reducing waste and protecting our precious marine environment”.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beachwatch Officer said: “It’s fantastic to see that local MSP, Liam McArthur, will be joining us at Echna Loch Bay to support our Great British Beach Clean; it’s really important for decision-makers to see how much litter, especially plastic, makes its way on to our beaches. We hope that Liam’s attendance at the Great British Beach Clean will encourage local constituents to join us for an eye-opening day on the beaches of Orkney. It’s vital that we all continue to work together to stop the tide of plastic in our oceans.”

Constituents looking to join Liam McArthur at the Great British Beach Clean can sign up to volunteer at: www.mcsuk.org/greatbritishbeachclean

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