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  • Friends of the Earth - East

What we found at the Beach ......

On the 24th September 2022 five of us went down to the shoreline in Ipswich and carried out a beach clean as part of the 2022 Great Beach Clean organised by the Marine Conservation Society. The weather was good with light winds.

Ensuring we had all our safety equipment and risk assessments in place we surveyed part of the beach at Orwell County Park 100 meters long by 15 meters wide and you would be amazed (or maybe not) at what we found.

The number of Items found along with their % of the total rubbish collected is listed below:-

  • Plastic/Polystyrene 169 48.99%

  • Rubber 1 0.29%

  • Paper/Cardboard 3 0.87%

  • Wood (machined) 6 1.74%

  • Metal 4 1.16%

  • Glass 148 42.90%

  • Sanitary 10 2.90%

  • Medical 1 0.29%

  • Cloth 1 0.29%

  • Pottery/Ceramics 2 0.58%

It probably isn't a surprise to anyone that plastic topped the bill but it was closely followed by glass. Glass is easily recycled and the UK recycles just over 70% of container glass.* In 2021 households recycled 47.2% of plastic packaging**. Board and paper packaging is at 82% in Europe - the highest of any material.***

Of course it requires the user to place the glass, plastic or paper in the right bin not throw it in the water or leave it on the beach.

To help you reduce waste we have a list of local refill shops and sites available on our website here to help reduce household plastic waste.

If you would like to see the national results of the 2022 Great Beach Clean from the Marine Conservation Society you can find them here.

If you would like to know more about the UKs waste and recycling you can visit the Statistics website here:

If you would like to join us on our next beach clean please get in touch with is via the contact us page or email us at

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