The Million Mile Clean: The OSS supports new SAS campaign

08th April, 2021

The Outdoor Swimming Society supports the Surfers Against Sewage campaign to clean a million miles of beach, street, river and mountain in 2021.

SAS’s cleaning campaign aims to recruit 100,000 volunteers to walk 10 miles each in the places they love, collecting litter along the way. The aim is to be the biggest and most impactful clean up event ever!

According to new research*:

  • Over half of Brits (54%) think COVID-19 has led to an increase in plastic pollution
  • Almost two-thirds (59%) have seen more waste in their area over the last 12 months
  • 51% say they see more plastic on UK beaches than wildlife
  • 41% Brits feel their mental health has deteriorated as a result of lockdown

OSS members doing spring cleans of their local swim spots are encouraged to register them at the SAS Million Mile Beach clean to receive a free pack of clean up materials, and add it to a nationwide list of sites being cared for by water lovers.

“We all need to care for our blue spaces,” says OSS Founder Kate Rew, “and inland waterways are now getting the same kind of custodian care that beaches have enjoyed for some years. It’s great to see it happening the length and breadth of the UK.”

SAS’s cleaning campaign reflects and celebrates a national mood of hope and optimism as the country emerges from a dark winter spent in lockdown. Now more than ever, it is crucial for everyone all to reconnect with the outdoors and the Million Mile Clean provides an opportunity to prioritise our health while having a positive impact on our environment.

“The ocean is under threat and we are running out of time to save it,” says Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage. “We want to inspire an army of ocean activists to join the cause and put an end to plastic pollution in the UK. After more than a year of isolation, social distancing and reduced physical activity, the Million Mile Beach Clean reconnects communities with the environment and provides numerous benefits to mental health and physical wellbeing. Sign up and get involved today and together we can make a difference.”

How you can get involved

Organise or take part in cleans happening at the beach, rivers, lakes, mountains and on city streets – whichever is more local to you.

SAS are calling on the swimming community and swim groups to help by signing up to clean 10 miles in 2021.

To find your local event, set up a clean or for more info, visit the SAS website.

*The survey of 2,000 British adults was conducted by Opinium between 9 March – 13 March 2021 and balanced demographically by age, region and gender.