The 'Dirty Dozen' brands: don't buy them

To mark World Ocean Day, clean water campaigners Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) are highlighting the ‘Dirty Dozen’ of identifiable beach litter items to help tackle the blight of rubbish on UK beaches. SAS is releasing the ‘Dirty Dozen’ league table, revealing the 12 companies to which it has sent the most identifiable beach litter back to as part of the award winning Return To Offender campaign.

The Return To Offender campaign is one of SAS’s most successful marine litter campaigns to date. Launched in 2006, SAS has sent almost 600 items of identifiable marine litter back to the companies producing them. Whilst SAS acknowledges that these companies aren’t directly responsible for dropping the litter, SAS returns the offending items accompanied with a call, for them to:

Step up ‘the anti-littering’ message on your products
Look at using less harmful packaging to ensure products can be broken down naturally without putting wildlife at risk
Promote recycling and/or reuse wherever appropriate

SAS’s ‘Dirty Dozen’, who are accountable for 56% of the total amount of litter returned, are being asked to recognize that immediate steps are necessary to reduce the impacts of their products and packaging, and prevent it ending up on UK beaches.

Company Names

Individual items

Company Names

Individual items

1. Nestle


7. Unilever


2. Coca Cola


8. PepsiCo


3. Walkers snacks /Frito Lays


9. United Biscuits


4. Kraft


10. Carlsberg


5. Tesco


11. Co-op


6. Mars


12. Asda


Dirty Dozen Total: 330
Overall total individual products sent: 591
Total Number of parent companies: 131

The Return To Offender campaign is already making a big impact with some of these companies. Coke’s Director of Sustainability in Europe contacted SAS to discuss the positive steps they are making in the right direction and stated that they are prepared to meet all of the demands set out in the campaign. Make no mistake, Coke have a lot they need to improve, however, we are pleased to see them commit to steps forward to improve sustainability.

The amount of marine plastics on our beaches has increased by 146% since 1994 and this wave of trash shows no sign of subsiding. Studies show that 80% of marine litter comes from land based sources, such as the general public visiting our beaches. SAS are campaigning to halt this unwanted wave of rubbish, and has recently won Coast Magazine’s 2010 Environmental Campaign Award for our ongoing work on marine litter.

What is most striking and saddening to SAS is the overwhelming presence of single use product packaging in the ‘Dirty Dozen’. However we know that through our many marine litter campaigns, that include calling on the government to implement a National Marine Litter Strategy, our UK wide Beach Clean tours and Return To Offender we can make and are making a difference.

SAS Campaign Officer, Dom Ferris, says: “Whilst we recognize that it is not the companies themselves that drop the litter, we are calling on them to use the vast influence that they have over their consumers positively. By introducing new, less harmful packaging and doing more to make their customers aware of the impacts that littering has on the marine environment. They can help lessen the impact of their products on our precious marine environments”.

Barack Obama: must stop oil drill

The most ambitious bid yet to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history ended in failure Saturday after BP was unable to overwhelm the gusher of crude with heavy fluids and junk.

President Obama called the setback "as enraging as it is heartbreaking." The oil giant immediately began readying its next attempt, using robot submarines to cut the pipe that's gushing oil and cap it with a funnel-like device, but the only guaranteed solution remains more than two months away.

Read more ...

Save The Beach: help is needed

The Corona Save The Beach project started in 2008 to raise awareness around the need to protect Europe’s coastlines. We have pledged to save one European beach every year. Last year it was Italy’s Capocotta beach. This year it could be a British one but it needs your help.

As if that wasn’t already enough this year we are going one step further and have set out to build the first and only hotel in the world made partly from trash collected on European beaches.

Read more ...