Marine Conservation Society – Beachwatch Highlands & Islands

£15,000 awarded

Sadly, beaches littered with large quantities of plastic waste are a familiar site all round Scotland.  Cleaning up the beaches however, is only part of the solution.  In order to reduce pollution in the longer term, there needs to be an understanding of exactly what the waste consists of & where it comes from – so that the sources of the waste can be tackled at source.

HIEF funded phase 1 of this project, which sought to verify anecdotal evidence that the composition of plastic litter on island beaches varies from that found on mainland beaches.

Phase 1 results did indeed find that there was a difference but the sample sizes were very small, too small to scale up reliably.  In order to campaign for the necessary policy changes (ban or charges for single-use plastic items &/or polluter pays legislation), more data needs to be collected, analysed & validated.

Phase 2 will therefore expand the number of surveys completed as well as analyse the data & dispose of the items collected.  Groups from Orkney, Bute, the Hebrides & some mainland beaches (for comparison) have agreed to take part.

This grant is for a contribution to phase 2 costs, specifically the staffing costs to facilitate all of the above.

This project will also receive an additional £15,000 from the partnership with Depeche Mode & Hublot from their Memento Mori Tour.

Scottish Islands Federation Winter Beach Clean Series 2023 - Marine Conservation Analysis
Comparison island vs mainland litter