The Marine Conservation Society has released its data on 2022’s beach clean. And while some aspects of the clean-up are better than in previous years, there is still a very long way to go – with wet wipes, glass bottles, cigarette butts and plastic plaguing the shores. The society says an extraordinary 13,615 volunteers removed 17,772kg of litter from 97 miles of beach and submitted over 1,000 litter surveys.

The good news is that the amount of litter recorded on beaches decreased by 11% across the UK and Channel Islands compared to 2021, with each nation seeing a reduction. Overall, the number of litter items found per 100m has decreased by 38% since 2016, when litter levels peaked.

The society says that this highlights the effectiveness and influence of policies that reduce pollution, and the hard work of communities and volunteers who have campaigned alongside them.

But plastic continues to pollute UK and Channel Island beaches, with plastic and polystyrene accounting for 81.5% of all the litter recorded. Nine of the top ten litter items were plastic or polystyrene, including plastic packets, bags, wet wipes, drinks bottles, and caps and lids.

Courtesy of Marine Industry News

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