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1st December 2015 - Press Release

Tides deposit the world's litter on Dover beach

Rubbish from around the world washes up on Dover's shores, the results of a major beach clean have revealed this week.

The tides sweeping around the south coast of England deposited a box from Monterey, California, on Shakespeare Beach, along with a container lid which had Chinese writing on it.

The items were among 225kg of rubbish filling 44 sacks which were cleared from the water’s edge in September when the Port of Dover joined forces with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership to organise a collection for the Marine Conservation Society’s (MSC) Great British Beach Clean.

More than 70 volunteers – from the Brownies, Scouts, Port, the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and cleaning contractors OCS – scoured the shingle for litter.

In total 5,186 items weighing 225kg were cleared and these were then sorted and logged by the volunteers

The findings have been forwarded to MCS for analysis and will be added to national data to give a fuller picture of the extent of litter in British seas.

Vicki Jago, Head of Safety and Environment at the Port of Dover, said:

“Shakespeare Beach, like many beaches the world over, is vulnerable to marine litter. It’s a problem that’s both unsightly for people and a danger to animals. It’s a problem we must solve together, and the Great British Beach Clean is a part of the solution.

“The results speak for themselves and show how important beach cleans are; they keep our marine environment both attractive and safe.

“Of course, the best way to keep our coasts clean is not to drop litter in the first place, even if we can’t stop other people’s rubbish being swept in on the tides.”

Paul Sampson, Partnership Ranger, White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, said:

"Clearing up marine litter all over the UK remains a big job for generations to come but with enthusiastic volunteers on board we can give Shakespeare Beach a well deserved clean. It also gives us an opportunity to find out exactly what type of litter is making its way by sea to this part of East Kent.”

The next Great British Beach Clean will run from September 16 to September 19, 2016. Details will follow in the New Year on how can you be involved in Dover's involvement. 


Notes to Editors:


  • The port handles 13 million passengers, 2.5 million freight vehicles and £100 billion of UK/European trade.
  • The port supports 22,000 jobs, many of which are in the local community.
  • Dover Beach is recommended in the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Beach Guide, listed a beach with excellent water quality and the quality of water is continually tested throughout the bathing water season.
  • There are also a number of volunteer tasks organised by the White Cliffs Countyside Partnership throughout the year. For more information please look at the WCCP website: www.whitecliffscountryside.org.uk
  • It has a shared vision to protect and enhance short and long term port capacity for the nation while delivering the catalyst for the regeneration of Dover.
  • Dover's 2014 Environmental Benefit in Numbers: 

o    100% landfill avoidance

o    4.4% increase in recycled waste

o    9.88% reduction in carbon footprint, contributing to a 26% reduction since 2007

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