Plastic bag ban halves beach litter

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Britain’s beaches are getting cleaner, following the introduction of the 5p plastic bag tax.

The Marine Conservation Society found fewer than seven bags per 100m of coastline, compared to 11 when the UK’s beaches were surveyed a year ago.

The 40 per cent reduction - leading to the lowest total in 10 years - will, say the charity, help save marine wildlife such as whales, turtles and seabirds, who mistake plastic bags and balloons for jellyfish.

However, litter collected and analysed by the volunteers showed a rise of more than 4 per cent in the numbers of drinks containers found on the country’s beaches, including including plastic bottles, cans, and bottle tops.

Litter on Scottish beaches decreased by 18 per cent, while the north-east of England ‘s totals dropped by 14 per cent. However, there were rises in the amount of beach litter in the north-west (24 per cent), Northern Ireland (9 per cent).and the south-west and Wales (15 per cent)

Overall, the Great British Beach Clean saw 6,000 volunteers rid the UK’s coastline of 268,384 items of rubbish.