No Treasure, Just Trash on British Beaches


Did you read the Reuters report last week on the dismal state of British beaches?

Turns out that a survey conducted by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) found an average of 2,195 items of trash per kilometer of beach. And this is on beaches that, unlike Glass Beach, were never, ever designated official dump zones.

These numbers are based on reports by the 5000 volunteers recruited by MCS to help clear the beaches of trash. All in all, 374 beaches were surveyed with 385,659 items of trash recovered. Of the trash found,  30% was food packaging and cigarette butts and 13% was discarded fishing paraphernalia.

The MSC wants to halve the trash on British beaches by 2015, but given the fact that there was a 110% increase in dumping over the past 15 years, they will have their work cut out for them educating and encouraging those who don’t seem to see the problem with dumping trash wherever they want.

On a brighter note, 44 beaches in Wales have been getting “Green Coast” awards for their clean environment and unspoilt natural beauty.  This doesn’t mean that Wales isn’t also suffering from beach trash, however – apparently, volunteers cleared almost 50,000 litter items strewn across sand at 56 beaches just last year.

Image: Alan Cleaver 2000