Why is there more beach litter?

By | Category: Travel news

this is what a beach should look ike – pristine.

A report from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says that the amount of litter of our beaches rose by 10% compared to last year. The society says that, in its Great British Beach Clean this year, 6,944 volunteer beach cleaners pick up record amounts of litter from 339 UK beaches – on average, 718 bits of rubbish from every 100 metres cleaned.

The MCS says that ‘on the go’ items made up 20% of all litter found on the UK’s beaches and 63% of all litter that comes from the public. 138 pieces of ‘on the go ‘ litter were found on average per 100m of beaches. The charity categorises drinks cups, plastic cutlery, foil wrappers, straws, sandwich packets, lolly sticks, plastic bottles, drinks cans, glass bottles, plastic cups, lids and stirrers as ‘on the go.’

It also suggests that we’re treating the outdoors as a big dustbin, happy to dump at will rather than keep hold of our litter until we find a bin.

Is this being fair? Do we know that there were bins at each of the 339 beaches where the clean-up took place? And that those bins were easily found? Were there more volunteers than the year before which, if there were, suggests that we are not really comparing apple with apples in that more people should be able to collect more rubbish. Equally, if there were fewer volunteers then the situation is worse than the charity suggests.

Whichever way you look at it, one piece of litter is too much so why are we so prone to leaving our litter around? The MCS says that it is time for a levy on single-use items that are handed over, free of charge, in their millions when we’re eating and drinking out and about. It says the levy should be imposed on such items as straws, cups, lids, stirrers and cutlery and points out that the 5p a level on plastic shopping bags did wonders in reducing the number of plastic bags appearing in the seas.

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