Our charity is proud to announce we’ve partnered with Plymouth Gin and Ben Fogle to encourage Brits to hit the beach this summer, but to leave nothing but footprints behind when they head for home. Ben has lent his voice to a video we’ve put together with Plymouth Gin, outlining how you can do your bit to keep the country’s coastline beautiful.

Beaches in the UK are expected to face 50% more visitors this ‘Staycation Summer’ as Brits look to swap overseas trips for holidays a little closer to home. Working with TV adventurer Ben Fogle and Plymouth Gin, we are encouraging everyone to do their bit to look after the coast whilst visiting and driving awareness of the importance of a healthy Ocean.

Our campaign urges everyone to pick up at least five pieces of litter when they go to beach this summer, with millions of Brits planning staycations and day trips to the beach in the coming weeks.

According to new research, it is clear that Britain’s beaches have a special place in our hearts and minds – 3 in 4 say the beach makes them happy and an astounding 95% have happy memories linked to the seaside! In fact Brits believe that views of the seaside make them happier than any other view in the UK. With seven months being the average length of time since Brits last saw the sea, and 71% of us set to visit the coast this summer, it’s more important than ever to keep our beaches clean. 

The launch of the campaign is sure to find favour as research shows the biggest annoyance for people at the seaside is litter left on the beach (68%). Moreover although the majority of the nation is aware of beach pollution (88%), most people say they need to learn more.

As Ocean optimists, supported by Plymouth Gin, we encouraging Brits to get out and explore the coast this year, but ensure they leave nothing behind when they pack up and head for home.

Ben Fogle says of our campaign;

“The beautiful British coastline is shaped by the Ocean that supports the rich variety of life on our planet, and I want to keep it that way. I spent much of my childhood, just along the coast of Plymouth and I even rowed the Atlantic, so the Ocean has been a huge part of my own life.

This summer, millions of us, myself included, will make a trip to the seaside. There are some things we can’t control, but we can all do our bit this summer. There are over 100 million beach visits every year –  if we all picked up 5 pieces of litter every visit, that’s over 500 million less pieces of rubbish on the beach.”

Nicola Bridge , our Head of Conservation Education and Communications says;

“The sea makes half of the oxygen that we breathe and drives our weather and climate.  Even when you can’t see it, it’s a vital part of  life – we’re all connected to our Ocean in some way! However, sadly, an equivalent of a full rubbish truck worth of plastic is dumped into the Ocean every minute, and last summer we saw tonnes of plastic on our beaches. With millions of us expected to flock to our coastline this ‘staycation summer, we’re calling on everyone who goes to do their bit.”

There are a few simple yet effective ways we can all do to preserve our coastline, with advice including:

• There are over 100 million UK beach visits every year – If we each pick up just five pieces of litter on our beach visits, that would equate to over 500 million pieces of litter being picked up.

• Repack picnic food at home to ensure packaging is recycled properly and no rubbish is left at the beach.

• Source local and sustainably sourced seafood – why not try something new on the menu.

Ocean Conservation Trust volunteers collecting litter from beaches in Plymouth

The Plymouth Distillery team has also committed to a year-long programme of beach cleans kicking-off this summer.  Plymouth Gin has already made great strides in its sustainability journey;  the distillery uses 100% renewable electricity and all of its gin botanicals are recycled via an anaerobic digestion power plant, to turn waste into energy. 

Sean Harrison, Master Distiller for Plymouth Gin says,

“We have called the South-West home since 1793 and our distillery is only 75 metres away from the harbour. Our history is intrinsically linked to the ocean, and we have a long and proud history travelling the seas with the Royal Navy. Like many of us in this country, it’s a hugely important part of who we are.  Our research shows exactly how connected people feel to the ocean, and it’s clear our coastline has a hugely positive effect on our lives.

That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting our neighbours here in Plymouth, the Ocean Conservation Trust in this ‘leave nothing but footprints’ campaign. The campaign is the next step in our journey into ensuring sustainability is at the front and centre of everything we do, with further activities and initiatives set to roll out in the coming months.”

For more sustainable hints and tips from Plymouth Gin and the Ocean Conversation Trust, and to learn more about how you can do your bit, visit www.plymouthgin.com