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The Dirty Dozen




Our work and the decisions we make as experienced researchers are scientifically based, and our partnerships and combined work experience provide rich insights into the nature of the problem. Our previous work for WWF-SA, Fair Trade Tourism and similar organisations in the field assists us to find solutions by understanding how single-use plastics are perceived by consumers and the food industries, and to what extent they are being recycled.

We offer data collation and analysis services for those organisations and businesses wanting up-to-date and rigorous quantitative and qualitative studies in this sector.

The Dirty Dozen

There is growing concern about the amounts of plastic and other waste entering the sea. We need a practical tool to track the amounts of litter at sea, so we can tell if specific measures to address the problem are working or not. Collecting rubbish washing up on beaches is the easiest way to track litter at sea, and it helps to reduce the amounts of plastic in the environment, but it is very time-consuming to record all litter collected. The Dirty Dozen + programme offers a simple way to contribute useful data while also making a difference in terms of cleaning beaches. The Dirty Dozen are 12 types of litter selected to track different sources of marine litter.

If you would like to get involved in contributing to this research platform, come to a Beach Cleanup, or contact us here.

September is International Coastal Cleanup month. If you are keen to participate in hosting a beach cleanup using this methodology please download the information pack here.

For more information please see our Dirty Dozen Methodology explained here.

Cooldrink Bottles

Use a reusable bottle or flask

Water Bottles

Use a reusable bottle or flask

Cooldrink Lids

Use a reusable bottle / flask – means no disposable lids

Carrier Bags

Use tote bags

Chip Packets

Avoid packaged food or try and buy in bulk

Sweet Wrappers

Encourage restaurants to serve their sweets from a sweet dispenser as opposed to individually wrapped sweets


Purchase a glass, bamboo, steel or copper straw


Purchase bamboo, wooden or paper versions

Lollypop Sticks

Purchase paper or wooden versions

Cigarette Lighters

Get a refillable lighter

Fishing Line
Never leave fishing tackle behind. Take it home

Rather use LED lights or avoid all together

Data Collation & Analysis

We are developing a shared data platform that will allow those engaged in beach cleanups to interact and share their findings. This will contribute to the understanding of beach and marine litter at the national level and help provide a robust rationale for national campaigns.


Swakopmund is a coastal city in Namibia, west of the capital, Windhoek. Its sandy beaches face the Atlantic Ocean.


Melkbosstrand is a coastal village and beach located on the South West Coast of South Africa, 35 km north of Cape Town.

Big Bay

Big Bay Beach and its contemporary, Little Bay, are the two beaches of Bloubergstrand in Cape Town. These beaches are divided by a rocky point. This area is famous for its awesome surfing, kite-surfing and wind-surfing.

Table View

This sandy beach is sitiated on the west coast and is relatively close to the City centre.


This sandy beach is sitiated on the west coast and is relatively close to the City centre. It is possibly one of Cape Town’s dirtiest beaches.

Mouille Point

Sandy beach with rocky shore.


This is a popular surf beach in Cape Town and the community host regular cleanups. It is a sandy beach with beautiful view of the Cape muontains with icey waters.

Buffelsbaai (Cape Point)

A sandy beach found in Cape Point reserve. Idyllic views and a few resident ostriches, if you’re lucky you may find them on the beach.


This is a rocky shore along the False Bay coastline, and is situated close to a tidal pool which many people frequent especially during summer.


Home to many surf schools and known as the break most surfers learn to surf at. It is a sandy beach which gets cleaned regularly by the City and hence smaller items are more prevelant.

Sunrise Beach, False Bay

This is a sandy beach adjacent to Muizenberg beach, but it is not cleaned as regularly.

Uitkraalsmond Estuary

Sandy beach with rocky outcrops.

Gansbaai Caravan Park

Sandy beach with rocky outcrops.

Swartvlei Beach

Sandy beach situated in Sedgefield.

Walker Beach, Buffels Bay

Sandy beach with dunes and a few rocky outcrops.

Jefferys Bay

Jeffreys Bay is a town located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Is a popular surf destination with one of the best breaks in the world. The beach is sandy with rocky outcrops.

Port Elizabeth

Sandy beach in the Cape Recife reserve.

Ushaka Beach

Sandy beach close to the aquarium.

Our Latest Cleanup Stats

Combined totals for all cleanups (100 to date)

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Cooldrink Bottles


Water Bottles


Cooldrink Lids


Carrier Bags


Chips Packets


Sweet Wrappers






Lollypop Sticks


Cigarette Lighters


Fishing Line