A total of 56 volunteers cleared 7,328 pieces of litter off four Berwickshire beaches during Great British Beach Clean week organised by the Marine Conservation Society.
The four beach cleans - at Coldingham, Linkim, Killiedraughts, and Eyemouth - were supervised by the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve, the 56 volunteers, which included local cubs and guides, removing 140.15kg of rubbish.
“Linkim shore just south of Coldingham Bay recorded the highest number of litter items removed with 2,917 pieces weighing 41.95kg,” said marine ranger Lyle. “Next was Killiedraughts bay with 2,176 items (85.5kg), Eyemouth beach with 1,381 (12.2kg), and Coldingham with 854 (0.5kg).
“We also attended a community driven beach clean organised by the Burnmouth residents on September 15. It was a great day lending a hand with a driven and enthusiastic group of people.
“Plastic waste was the most frequent litter item across the four beaches surveyed, with 4,517 pieces retrieved representing 61.6% of all rubbish collected over the four days. A quarter of all litter encountered over the four beaches was broken and degraded pieces of plastic ranging between 0.5cm – 50cm, with a total of 1,766 pieces recorded and removed.
“Plastic pollution remains one of the greatest threats facing the marine environment today, it has serious consequences regarding marine animal health and their survival as it results in animal entanglement by drifting ghost nets, ingestion of toxic fragments, and leads to immuno-suppression.
“MCS beach clean provides data to help lobby governments to alter legislation relating to the manufacturing and application of plastic products in the market place. 25 years of data collected by the MCS has resulted in the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags and the reduction of exfoliating gels containing micro beads made of plastic.
“We would like to thank beach clean funders LEADER, Green Coat, Foundation Scotland, Blue Marine, and Berwickshire & Northumberland Marine Nature Partnership.”