Beach litter on the increase

Teams went out along the Berwickshire coast, including this one at Eyemouth, to clean up the beachs as part of Marine Conservation's annual beach clean.
Teams went out along the Berwickshire coast, including this one at Eyemouth, to clean up the beachs as part of Marine Conservation's annual beach clean.

Beach litter around Scotland’s coastline has gone up by six per cent in just one year according to a report by the Marine Conservation Society.

Every year the society organises an annual beach clean in September and this year a total of 57,961 items of litter were removed from 111 beaches.

Volunteers cleaned up five beaches along the Berwickshire coast - Coldingham, Dunglas, Eyemouth, Killiedraughts and Linkim Shore - and picked up a total of 3,103 items; 83.75kg of rubbish. Killiedraughts beach to the north of Eyemouth, had the most rubbish (1643 items weighing 30.50kg). Next was Linkim Shore with 711 pieces of litter (22.75kg), Eyemouth beach with 291 (17.50 kg), Coldingham beach with 245 items of litter (4.75kg) and Dunglas at Cockburnspath 213 (8.25kg).

However, the general rise in litter is overshadowed in Scotland by a 40% rise in sewage related debris (SRD) - stuff people are putting down the loo when they should be putting it in a bin - which accounts for 21% of all the litter found on Scottish beaches.

As a result of these findings the Marine Conservation Society has launched an appeal to the Scottish Government to put a levy on items such as wet wipes (114% more were found on beaches this year).

Catherine Gemmell, MCS Scotland conservation officer said: “No one wants to swim with a flushed wet wipe or make a sand castle out of cotton bud sticks – we can all make a difference for our seas and beaches.”