A group of Asda community champions from our stores across North West England and North Wales teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society to give West Kirby beach on the Wirral a spring clean.
The group of more than 20 of our colleagues braved wet and windy conditions to clear bags of rubbish from the sands – some of which will be used by the charity to analyse the type of waste that's being washed up in the area.
Our Bromborough store's community champion Helen-Louise Sestan-Burton was one of the volunteers. She said: "We did a small section of the beach first, and as well as a litter pick it was an information exercise fo the Marine Conservation Society as they will be analysing the rubbish.
"In my role as community champion I've done beach cleans in the area before, and I noticed there's been a general reduction in litter. On this litter pick we tended to find more very small fragments of plastic, and small bits of litter rather than cartons or larger pieces of waste.
"It did not stop raining all day – but it didn't stop us smiling, enjoying the day and enjoying working together.
"Reducing waste, particularly plastics, is a real focus for the community champions and I've got lots of events planned in local schools and with other groups to spread the word about plastics reduction and recycling, as well as more litter picks."
Lizzie Prior from the Marine Conservation Society said: "I was prepared for the volunteers to be shocked by what we could found – especially the amount of small plastic pieces that always turn up.
"Often a beach will look pristine on arrival but when you start looking it's covered in litter.
"These tiny bits of litter are particularly dangerous to wildlife - from seabirds to fish - and we're increasingly seeing them being ingested which means they are making their way into the human food chain.
"It is beach cleans like this that not only tidy up the coastline but also lead to behaviour change in those taking part."
We've been working to reduce unnecessary plastic and recently announced we've removed 6,500 tonnes – or the equivalent weight of 600 million plastic bottles – from our own brand packaging in a year. We've also committed to making all of our packaging fully recyclable by 2025.