90% of litter on beaches is plastic: 220,000 bottles, bags and wrappers found on just one stretch of coastline

Mail Online | 12/3/2017 | Victoria Allen Science Correspondent For The Daily Mail
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Plastic pollution is overwhelming Britain, making up close to 90 per cent of litter on beaches.

Scientists have reported that 220,000 pieces of plastic were found along one 37-mile stretch of coastline, including plastic bags, bottle caps and cotton bud sticks.

Pressure - Supermarkets - Plastic - Packaging - Trawl

As pressure builds on supermarkets to cut unnecessary plastic packaging, a seven-year trawl of beaches has brought disturbing evidence of where it ends up.

The huge study found the 220,802 plastic items along only nine beaches in Cornwall. They represented 89 per cent of the litter found on the beaches.

Cotton - Bud - Sticks - Toilets - Drinks

Among them were 2,509 cotton bud sticks, thought to have been flushed down toilets, 13,115 drinks caps and lids, 3,109 drinks bottles and more than 81,000 unidentifiable plastic fragments – thought to have been in the sea for decades.

The findings support calls for a deposit scheme for plastic bottles, which has been backed by supermarkets Iceland and Co-op, and is a key element of the Daily Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign.

Newspaper - Plastic - Bags - Coffee - Cups

This newspaper has already campaigned against plastic bags, takeaway coffee cups and the microbeads found in face washes and toothpaste – which led the Government to commit to a world-leading ban on their use in personal care products.

Study co-author Adam Porter, from the University of Exeter, said: ‘Many people blame beach users for not putting their litter in the bin, they blame fishermen for dumping waste, but our study shows the majority of waste is made up of fragmented plastics which have been in the sea for a long time and broken down – and these come from all of us.

Sir - David - Attenborough - Blue - Planet

Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II BBC series has shown in heartbreaking detail the threat posed to marine creatures by plastic pollution.

Episodes include a whale with a dead calf, thought to have been poisoned by plastic, and a dead baby albatross...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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