The initiative came under the funding of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), while is one of the 53 projects to share the £1.4m fund.

In fact, the study is the first of its kind to investigate the volunteers' role on the urgent and growing marine litter problem.

Credit: Surrey Media Team twitter

With marine litter being a major threat which impacts the marine environment and the ocean wildlife, volunteers have proved to bring significant results.

Namely, volunteers at the Marine Conservation Society’s annual beach cleaning event, have managed to remove 11.404 metric tonnes of waste during the last 25 years.

Through the project, Dr Wyles and her team will join their forces to determine how the use of citizen science, can be further used to face marine litter. Moreover, the results of the study will boost greater engagement and attract more volunteers.

To tackle the growing problem of marine litter we need to think creatively. Citizen science is one way we can do this. The work of volunteers is invaluable, and we need to further understand why they choose to take part as well as identify any obstacles they face.

...Dr Kayleigh Wyles, Lecturer in Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey, said.

By recording and removing debris and plastics found in different areas, volunteers will help to understand and deal with the marine litter issue and protect the oceans.

In 2020 and beyond we will build on the lessons we learn through these pilot projects to help us achieve our ambition of making research and innovation responsive to the knowledge, priorities and values of society and open to participation by people from all backgrounds.

...Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement, UKRI, concluded.