Challenge to give up plastic as part of Big Coast Clean Up

The community letterbox scheme has been launched in Southwold. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The community letterbox scheme has been launched in Southwold. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Plastic on our beaches and in our sea causes harm to wildlife and is accelerating as a environmental disaster.

As part of the Big Coast Clean Up, this newspaper is urging readers to take part in the Marine Conservation Society's 'Plastic Challenge'.

The charity is asking people to give up single-use plastics for the whole of July in order to help reduce the impact of plastic waste on our planet.

The challenge has been run for the last four years with more than 1,000 people taking part in 2016 and more than 5,000 last year.

Dr Sue Kinsey, technical specialist at the Marine Conservation Society, said: 'This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like.

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'But however you choose to do it you won't fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we've become. Some things are really tough to replace however much you want to give up single-use plastic.'

She added: 'The support we had last year was amazing and we know, from the comments we received on social media, that for many, this month is the start of a lifestyle change.'

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A spokesman for the charity said: 'Among the things people found hardest to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta rice and pulses, loo paper and toothpaste.'

As well as taking part in the Plastic Challenge, there are opportunities to help keep our beaches clean during June and July.

As part of the charity's Beachwatch beach cleans, there are two beach cleans organised at East Runton beach near Cromer, one on Sunday, June 17 followed by another on Sunday, July 22.

On Saturday, June 30, there is a beach clean in Mundesley, with another at Sea Palling beach, near Stalham on Sunday, July 15, and another in Bacton Keswick, near North Walsham, on Sunday, July 29.

More details are available on the Marine Conservation Society website.

We want to help you set up your own beach cleans, if you are interested in setting one up or have organised an event already, let us know at

You can sign up to take part in the Plastic Challenge at

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