Cornish charity Surfers Against Sewage is campaigning to reduce litter on British beaches by launching a tattoo-inspired campaign, with the efforts being posted across social media.
The charity is teaming up with advertising agency M&C Saatchi and tattoo artist Nick the Tailor to create a range of body art designs that mimic traditional maritime tattoos but carry Surfers Against Sewage’s environmental message.
Some of the designs use the most common types of litter – such as plastic bottles or carrier bags – in the place of lighthouses or pirate ship sails.
“Incorporating the commonest items of marine litter into the tattoos reflects the growing permanence of marine litter on UK beaches and across the globe, and the need for communities, governments and industry to take collective action to protect our precious coastlines,” said the charity’s chief executive Hugo Tagholm.
The artwork is being featured on t-shirts and promotional material, and the charity has also released a range of temporary tattoos.
Surfers Against Sewage hopes to “shine a spotlight on the marine litter crisis and create a rallying call to the nation to take more action to protect our waves, oceans, wildlife and beaches from marine litter,” Tagholm said.
The charity is also running a Big Spring Beach Clean this weekend, when more than 5,000 community volunteers will help to clean up 175 beaches.
The artwork campaign comes shortly after the release of the Surfers Against Sewage marine Litter Report, which set out the charity’s plans to reduce litter on British beaches by 50 per cent by 2020.
Recorded litter on UK beaches was at its highest level in 2014, with 2,457 pieces found for each kilometre of coast surveyed by Surfers Against Sewage. The removal of this extent of litter costs local authorities £18 million a year.
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