The Great Dorset Beach Clean and Litter Free Coast and Sea Week are annual events that usually happen in April. On this page you can find out what happened at the last events and plans for the next events once they are in place.

The Great Dorset Beach Clean has been happening for over 28 years along the coast! During the event over 25 beach cleans happens at beaches along the Dorset coast over one weekend. It is a fantastic event that makes a real difference to our beaches. People taking part carry out surveys of what is found. This helps the Litter Free Coast and Sea team understand the top litter items found on our beaches. We then develop campaigns to try and reduce these items at source.

Litter Free Coast and Sea week has been happening for the last two years. We have a different theme each year which looks at ways we can all try to prevent the litter getting to our coast in the first place and ways in which we can all help improve bathing water quality.

Litter Free Coast and Sea Week 2017

The theme for Litter Free Coast and Sea Week 2017 was #LitterFreeDaysOut. We encouraged people to enjoy a Litter Free Day Out during Easter and share what they did on social media.

Even though the week is over you can still join in and share youre #LitterFreeDaysout. Find out how below and remember to tag us on social media.

Find a bin and pop it in.
Yes, it really is that simple!

It’s easy to see that some people don’t take their rubbish home but, we’re pleased to say, most people do. Just think of the millions of people who visit Dorset’s beaches every year, and how clean they are most of the time. We’re really proud that lots and lots of our beach users use the bins provided for them or take their rubbish home, and encourage everyone to make this simple thing part of their normal beach-going habit.


Make and take
If you have time, making your beach snacks ahead of time and taking them with you in a cool box is a great way to make sure you get your sandwiches exactly how you like them, plus there’s no rubbish to get left behind. (and you’ve got a nifty box to take the empties home in to re-use!)
Grabbing lunch on the go?
Here are a few tips for grabbing lunch on the go and reducing all that pesky packaging:

  • Support local businesses- those fab beach-front cafes and restaurants will serve you lunch with the minimum of packaging or, at the very least, will have bins nearby so you don’t have to carry waste packaging around with you after lunch.
  • Just say no! whether you like your cocktail (or smoothie!) with or without ice, saying ‘no’ to the plastic straw means no risk it ends up on the beach.
  • Take just what you need. OK, sticky fingers = napkin requirement, we’re totally with you. But one or two will do the trick- save the juggling and fewer napkins end up as litter. The same goes for sauce and sugar sachets.
  • Choose the option with the least wrapping, or dispose of the wrapping in the shop if you can. Less to take with you, less to blow away.

Fill 'er up! (your water bottle, that is)
A nice cold drink of water is wonderful on a day out, so it’s easy to see why sales of bottled water are booming. However, there’s a growing trend in Dorset to use one of the 60+ Refill Stations around the county and get fresh, cold water for free! All you need is your favourite re-usable water bottle and the Refill Britain App (download it here for free: iPhone users here; Android users here) to find your nearest station. You can even earn points as you go, which earn lovely rewards from the Refill Britain team.

It’s not just water either. If you enjoy a mochachoca-soy-chai-latte (and, let’s face it, who makes one of those at home?) take your refillable mug along to your favourite coffee shop and take one single-use cup out of the system each time. As an extra reward, some big chains now offer you discounts for using reusable cups. Pat on the back for Costa and Starbucks!

Don't feed the locals!
Of course, we mean the winged kind…

Seagulls are an integral part of the Great British seaside experience, but they’ve also become adept at fishing food rubbish out of litter bins in search of a tasty snack. Make sure you put rubbish all the way in, and don’t stack rubbish around an overflowing bin, to stop seagulls causing the litter you’ve tried so hard to prevent.

As a bonus, reducing the amount of readily available food for gulls means that, over time, they’re less likely to associate people with food. If we all do our bit, they’ll have a healthier diet and be less likely to dive bomb us while we eat our ice cream or fish and chips!

Isey Betts enjoying a Litter Free Day Out

Great Dorset Beach Clean 2017

22 of Dorset’s beaches were cleaned as part of the 2017 Great Dorset Beach Clean. It involved over 425 volunteers who offered couple of hours to make a difference to our coasts, retrieving just over 330 bags of litter from beaches from Christchurch to Lyme Regis. Almost 470 fewer bags than last year.

It is very encouraging to see that there was a lot less litter collected this year than last. Lots of factors can affect this including recent weather. We also now have 19 #2minutebeachclean stations and several community beach clean groups along the coast so beach cleans are happening more regularly throughout the year. However, we hope that less litter collected this year does indicates that less litter is being dropped along the coast. Huge thanks to everyone involved.

Chesil Cove
Lyme Regis
Holes Bay