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Litter levels fell in 2009 from an all-time high in 2008, but the group’s annual survey for 2010 showed a 6 per cent rise in rubbish on the nation’s shores.
The MCS ( http://www.mcsuk.org/ ) said there was a 40 per cent increase in sewage-related debris such as cotton buds, condoms and sanitary products, which were being flushed down the toilet instead of being put in the bathroom bin, then ending up on beaches.
MCS’s beachwatch officer, Lauren Davis. said people appeared to be flushing away rubbish with an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. “Sewerage networks and waste watertreatment works are not designed to remove these sort of items and more and more are ending up on rivers and beaches.”
In the North-east of England, the amount of bathroom waste found on beaches rose by 230 per cent, while in Wales it increased by 110 per cent. It fell in only two areas, the North-west and Northern Ireland.
More than 3,000 bags of rubbish were collected by volunteers who cleaned 376 beaches around England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. As in previous years bits of plastic along with plastic rope, cord and string, caps and lids, and food wrappers topped the list of items found.
- Huge rise in bathroom rubbish on UK beaches (guardian.co.uk)
- Sweet wrappers, plastic and old rope: Litter on Britain’s beaches increased by 6% in 2010 (dailymail.co.uk)
- British beaches are dirtier because people are flushing the wrong things down the toilet (telegraph.co.uk)
- Record litter density on beaches (bbc.co.uk)
- Fast-food wrappers top list of litter dropped on UK streets (guardian.co.uk)