Parley and SAS team up for another UK cleanup. This time: 487 beaches and 75 rivers.


Founded way back in 1990, UK-based Surfers Against Sewage began life as a grassroots surfing movement focused on a single issue. As they explain in a very British way, it was a response to “the dreadful state of our beaches. Those hardy souls who ventured into the water back then often found themselves swimming in raw sewage.” Things have improved for British surfers since then, but with the rise of plastic pollution and other threats the group has expanded and stayed at the forefront of the marine movement. This year, for instance, Parley is proud to be collaborating with Surfers Against Sewage on a pioneering new cleanup experiment.

2018 marks the first year that river cleanups were added to the program, with the goal of intercepting plastic pollution before it reaches the coast. It is estimated that a piece of litter dropped upstream in the Severn, the longest river in the UK, can reach the sea in less than 44 hours. From October 20th to 28th, over 15,000 volunteers took action at 487 beaches and 75 rivers across the UK to try to stem the tide and raise awareness.

Earlier this year, after pressure from Surfers Against Sewage and other environmental organizations, the UK Government announced that a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) would come into place in England. This means that consumers will soon pay a small fee when buying drinks in bottles or cans which they will get back after returning the container.

The data collected from this year’s Autumn cleanups will help to inform the Government on the details of the scheme. Since its launch in 2011, the annual event seen over 28,000 volunteers remove 80,000kg of marine plastic pollution (the equivalent of over 19,500 garbage bags) at 932 individual sites.


Britons can find their nearest beach/river clean or volunteer to lead their own at:
or by emailing

All Beach and River Clean Leaders will receive a step-by-step guide and all of the equipment needed to organize their cleans free of charge.