In 2013, British Beaches Were at Their Dirtiest in Two Decades

Volunteers recovered a whopping 2,390 items of rubbish per kilometer (0.62 miles)

This March 27, the Marine Conservation Society, whose goal is to protect seas, shores, and wildlife in the United Kingdom, released its latest Beachwatch report detailing the amount of trash that was recovered from British beaches during a single weekend, i.e. between September 20 and 23, 2013.

By the looks of it, members and volunteers with the Marine Conservation Society discovered a total of 223,405 bits and pieces of litter while patrolling beaches in the United Kingdom on said dates.

As detailed on this green group's website, the people who took part in last year's Beachwatch Big Weekend recovered an average of 2,309 items of trash on each and every kilometer (0.62 miles) of coastline that they combed.

The Marine Conservation Society has been organizing cleanups like this one for twenty years now, and it claims that, as surprising as this may sound, the amount of litter that it finds on British beaches annually is gradually increasing.

Thus, the Society maintains that, in 2013, it found the country's shoreline to be at its dirtiest in two decades. “The 20th anniversary clean up, which took place between 20th and 23rd September 2013, saw 2,309 items of litter found on every kilometre cleaned – the highest in Beachwatch history,” the organization says.

Interestingly enough, the Marine Conservation Society says that, in 2013, it found beaches in North West of England to be especially dirty. More precisely, an average of over 4,000 pieces of litter per kilometer was recovered from this part of the country between September 20 and 23.

The South West, on the other hand, was surprisingly clean last year. Thus, the volunteers that took part in the Beachwatch Big Weekend only bagged and removed an average of 1,750 pieces per kilometer.

Of the litter that was recovered on British beaches in September 2013, most, i.e. 39.4%, comprised things left behind by people, either intentionally or by mistake. Another 12.6% was made up of fishing gear, and sewage debris accounted for 4.3%.

The Marine Conservation Society volunteers say that, all things considered, the wackiest things that they stumbled upon during last year's cleanup activities were a television set, a French bulletproof vest, a birdcage, half a canoe, and a set of dentures.

Commenting on this initiative, Beachwatch Officer Lauren Eyles said that, “This is a disgusting tide of litter which is threatening the safety of beach visitors both human and animal. After 20 years of campaigning it’s disheartening that in 2013 we are seeing worse litter levels than ever.”

Over the past twenty years, as many as 59,493 volunteers with the Marine Conservation Society have patrolled 3,080.5 kilometers (1 914.13 miles) of British coastline and have recovered a whopping 5,528,399 bits and pieces of litter.

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