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Elisabeth Hoff: Drowning In Plastic - Great British Beach Clean

16 September 2019

Plastic Bags W5 200

©️ Elisabeth Hoff

Elisabeth Hoff releases 'Drowning in Plastic', a haunting series of images to highlight the Great British Beach Clean, an annual event organised by The Marine Conservation Society.

Plastic Bags W5

©️ Elisabeth Hoff

Elisabeth Hoff is a photographer, director, and art director creating high end imagery for clients in the UK and abroad. Prior to this, she studied Marine Biology and grew up sailing around the world with her family. Inspired by her background she has most recently turned her lens to the single-use plastics that are clogging our oceans. 


Working in collaboration with the Marine Conservation Society the images and film are being released to encourage people to sign up and get involved with The Great British Beach Clean, taking place on the 20th - 23rd September 2019. 


Each image focusses on a single-use plastic such as plastic bags, bottles, cutlery, balloons, and glitter. Using her skillset as a fashion photographer, Elisabeth wanted to do a “beautiful take on a dirty subject”. The series shows models swimming through water - either surrounded or entangled in these single-use items. The pollutants’ appearance changes to almost become a representation of the wildlife in our oceans, and therefore reinforces the fact that without action, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish. 

 Fish Net W3

©️ Elisabeth Hoff

The Great British Beach Clean is an annual event organised by The Marine Conservation Society which calls on the British public to volunteer a couple of hours of their time to help clean a 100m section of beach, and record the litter that they find. In 2018, 494 beaches were cleared by a record 15,000 volunteers, clearing an incredible 8550 kilos of litter - meaning that 600 items of litter were found on every 100 meters of the UK coastline. 


The project has been integral in creating change in how we use single-use plastic and was instrumental in bringing about the 5p carrier bag charge, which has resulted in a 50% drop in plastic bags found on beaches, as well as a reduction in the use of plastic straws, and the banning of micro-beads in wash-off products, and lantern and balloon releases. 

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©️ Elisabeth Hoff

“Using my skillset as a fashion photographer, I felt compelled to create a body of work that might inspire people to take some kind of action with regards to their personal consumption of single-use plastics. As human beings we are incredibly resourceful, and if we all get together and do our bit, I’m sure we can make positive changes fast, and start to find solutions to this growing issue”. Elisabeth Hoff, Photographer


“We’ve been running The Great British Beach Clean for over 25 years, and last year we saw over 15,000 volunteers taking to the UK coast to help us clean and survey beaches. Our society is becoming increasingly aware of the urgent problem of plastic pollution, and it’s thanks to campaigns such as Elisabeth’s, which show the problem though a new, creative lens, that we hope to engage more volunteers than ever this September, to help stop the plastic tide and join us for this important task”. Sandy Luk, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society. 

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©️ Elisabeth Hoff

View the Drowning in Plastic film


Sign up to a clean near you at and if you can’t find an event on your preferred beach, call  01989 566017 and find out how to organise your own. 

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