Plastics made up almost 65 percent of all the litter found on British beaches during a single weekend last September, according to the annual Beachwatch Big Weekend Report published by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
The amount of plastic on our beaches in 2012 rose by three percent compared to the year before.
Lauren Eyles – “Over the last few years we have seen a drop in the number of cigarette butts we’ve found on our beaches but this year that trend has totally reversed”
The report revealed there was a 100 percent rise in the number of cigarette stubs found on beaches between 2011 and 2012 with general smoking litter, including lighters and packets, increasing by 90 percent.
The MCS said that anti-litter campaigns are now falling on deaf ears.
The latest figures also reveal a rise in the number of sweet wrappers on UK beaches where volunteer cleaners also found over 75 plastic drinks bottles for every kilometre they surveyed.
MCS says the amount of rubbish like sweet wrappers and plastic bottles seems to indicate that decades of various anti-litter campaigns now need to be re-invigorated for a new generation.
Lauren Eyles, MCS beachwatch officer, says the continued rise in beach litter is worrying, but the fact that much of it is plastic and unlikely to break down is even more concerning: “As we continue to embrace the concept of a throwaway society it’s no surprise that plastic dominates the litter we find. Over the last few years we have seen a drop in the number of cigarette butts we’ve found on our beaches but this year that trend has totally reversed. That could be a result of more people smoking outside following the ban on smoking in public places. It’s likely that more people are dropping butts outside rather than disposing of them in ashtrays.”
For the full report CLICK HERE