A set of false teeth, a pair of shoes and a sealed packet of bacon are just some of the more unusual items that have been found on Britain’s beaches.

Now the Marine Conservation Society is looking for a record number of people to join the Great British Beach Clean around the county’s coastline this weekend.

Emma Cunningham, the charity’s pollutions campaigns officer, told Seven Days: “At least half the litter is plastic but you never know quite what you might find. We hope people who love the coast around Dorset will join us. Not only is it a good opportunity to get active in the outdoors, but it is also a chance to help take care of our environment.”

Tom Bell, MCS campaigns manager, adds: “The hope is to return many of Britain’s beaches to their halcyon days of the ’50s and ’60s, before we became a throwaway society resulting in thousands of pieces of litter, including vast amounts of plastic, along every kilometre of the UK’s coastline.

“Our domestic habits over the last 50 years or so have resulted in dirty beaches. We throw more stuff away than ever. Plastic in the marine environment may take hundreds of years to break down and it washes up or is blown onto beaches in bits from micro pieces to larger chunks.

“We flush stuff down the loo we shouldn’t, and that ends up in our water ways and then our beaches. We want to see people turning out to clean up their favourite or local beach during our Great British Beach Clean weekend – please don’t turn your back on beaches.”

There are beach clean events in Dorset including Baiter Park, Bournemouth, Chesil Beach, Chesil Cove, Durdle Door, Friars Cliff Beach, Hengistbury Head, Holes Bay, Lulworth cove, Newton’s Cove, Ringstead, Seatown, Whitley lake, Knoll Beach, Ham Coomon and Worbarrow.

To find out dates and times, and to sign up to the Great British Beach Clean in Dorset, register at mcsuk.org/greatbritishbeachclean or call 01989 567807.

Your contribution matters...

Even if you can’t take part in the Great British Beach Clean this weekend, there are ways to help: Bag it and Bin it: Please don’t flush cotton bud sticks or any other sanitary items down the toilet.

Don’t Let Go: What goes up, does come down again, please use alternative ideas to releasing balloons and sky lanterns: Are there microplastics in your scrub? The Beat the Microbead campaign, of which MCS is a member, is asking the manufacturers of skincare products to replace all plastic particles with environmentally friendly alternatives, such as anise seeds, sand, salt or coconut. Check the list of ingredients on the label.

Plastics can appear as Polyethylene / Polythene (PE), polypropylene (PP) or Polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Single Use Plastic Bags: Always remember to take a cloth bag (or a re-usable) bag every time you go shopping.

Try to reduce the amount of packaging you buy, loose fruit and veg wherever possible.

Take a re-useable water bottle instead of buying bottled water Please never drop litter, always take it home with you wherever possible.