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Beach litter declining – report

Published 23rd October, 2019 by Neil Nixon

Beach litter declining – report

Cromwell Polythene annually participates in beach cleaning and litter surveying activity on behalf of the Great British Beach Clean, and to mark Recycle Week at the end of September. A team of 10 volunteers from the company, which supplies products for the capture and containment of recyclables, took to its local beach at Filey on the North Yorkshire coast on 14 September. The aim of the annual litter pick is to champion sustainability and community recycling best practice.

In total, 346 items were collected using sustainable litter clearance hand tools from Helping Hand Environmental. The litter, which had an approximate weight of 16kg, came from two beach sections of 500 metres each. These included the following levels and types of rubbish:

  • 125 plastic/polythene items including bottles, caps, straws and pieces of plastic bag (compared to 229 pieces during last year’s survey along the same beach radius).
  • 69 rubber items including bits of balloon and pieces of dog balls.
  • 24 paper/cardboard items including cigarette packets, tissues, labels, and a receipt.
  • 12 wood items including cork, lolly sticks and chip forks.
  • 48 metal items including metal bottle caps, an aluminium can, foil wrappers, a knife, and fishing wire.
  • 12 pieces of cloth (nylon, wool, cotton and canvas) including string, fishing netting, a sock, a glove, and the remains of a tent!
  • 12 glass items.
  • 1 piece of pottery.
  • 3 pieces of food waste.
  • 11 sanitary items including wet wipes.
  • 29 cigarette stubs (which contain tiny particles of plastic).

    Levels of litter were recorded across the same predefined items as last year’s survey.

    James Lee, managing director of Cromwell Polythene, said: “We were pleased to see that the scale of littering has reduced compared to previous years’ analyses. It’s very encouraging that people are showing concern for the environment and the impacts that our actions have. We all want to see the recovery, reuse and recycling of every type of packaging and it is vital that we work together to find solutions to protect our environment, combat climate change, keep products in use for as long as possible, and prevent leakage of valuable resources from the circular economy.”

    The data collected at the Great British Beach Clean events is shared with the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC), contributing to a worldwide report on litter levels. MCS also analyses the data and uses the results to raise awareness of pollution and tackle it at source in the UK.

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