Day trippers to blame for beach rubbish

RUBBISH left by day trippers was the largest source of litter collected from the region's beaches during a massive survey of its shores, according to a new report.

RUBBISH left by day trippers was the largest source of litter collected from the region's beaches during a massive survey of its shores, according to a new report.

Hundreds of volunteers took part in Beachwatch 2004 to highlight rubbish left and washed up on Suffolk's beaches - collecting more than 100 bin bags of litter.

In the eastern region, 40pc of rubbish was from daytrippers, 15pc fishing, 5pc sewage-related, and 35pc other washed up debris from a variety of sources.

In Suffolk teams of more than 260 people took part in the event, which it is hoped will put pressure on the government to take further action against those causing the litter.


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At Landguard at Felixstowe, Suffolk Wildlife Trust volunteers found the most common types of litter were plastic bottle tops, polystyrene cups, fast food wrappers and corrugated foam wrapping material.

Along the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Felixstowe Ferry north, rubbish included traffic cones; syringes; wooden chip forks and fast food packaging; bulk plastic wrapping; champagne corks; nails from burnt pallets and large quantities of fishing line.

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Analysis released by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), publishers of the Good Beach Guide, showed most items picked up were from coastal visitors with only 2.2 per cent identified as having come from ships at sea.

Plastic is now the main concern - nearly 60pc of all the litter recorded, with an average of 1,106 plastic items per kilometre surveyed.

Nets and bags are known to entangle marine animals, which can drown as a result, while bags and small plastic pieces can be swallowed by marine animals such as turtles and whales, which may then starve.

Even if plastic items eventually break down into microscopic pieces, they are eaten by barnacles and lugworms.

The MCS said 269 beaches were surveyed nationally. On average, one piece of litter was recorded for every 52cm of beach surveyed and litter levels have increased by 82 per cent in the past decade.

Andrea Crump, MCS litter projects co-ordinator said: "This year more beaches were cleaned and surveyed than during any other Beachwatch survey.

"An amazing 3,093 volunteers took part in Beachwatch 2004. This indicates a high level of public concern about the impacts of litter on our beaches.

"Plastic found during Beachwatch surveys has also increased over the last decade. In 1994, 530 plastic items were found per kilometre surveyed, in 2004 this figure had more than doubled.

"Everyone can help ensure that this trend does not continue over the next ten years by reducing the amount of plastic they use and never dropping litter."

WEBLINK: www.mcsuk.org

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