Nearly three quarters of UK beaches littered with plastics

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 17 February 2017 in News

73 per cent of beaches surveyed contained tiny plastic beads known as nurdles

Almost three quarters of UK beaches are littered with tiny plastic pellets, according to a survey conducted by an alliance of environmental groups.

The data, gathered in a survey of 279 beaches across the UK, shows that 205 beaches, or 73 per cent of those surveyed, contained tiny plastic beads known as nurdles, which are used in the manufacture of plastic products. The pellets attract and concentrate background pollutants and get eaten by marine animals and sea birds.

Campaigners estimate that around 53 billion nurdles escape into the UK's environment each year after being spilled or discarded by industry, with 230,000 tonnes estimated to be entering the ocean in Europe annually.


RELATED CONTENT

Brexit standards for Scotland's food and drink

SNP demands assurances over future of Peterhead Power Station


Madeleine Berg, Projects Officer at environmental charity Fidra said: “Simple precautionary measures can help spillages and ensure nurdles don't end up in our environment.”

"We are asking the UK government to ensure best practice is in place along the full plastic supply chain, and any further nurdle pollution is stopped."

Results from the hunt will be fed into the government’s consultation on microplastics.

In 2010, surveys conducted by the Marine Conservation Society collected over 53,000 items of litter from a 22km sample of Scottish beaches.

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

More than half of UK turnover from onshore wind generated in Scotland
6 April 2017

UK Low Carbon and Renewable Energy (LCRE) Economy Survey suggests 58,500 people employed in Scotland in low-carbon activities in 2015

Paul Wheelhouse: Ministers will respect Parliament's view on fracking
31 March 2017

Wheelhouse confirms that responses to the ongoing consultation has reached into “five figures”

Bird of prey crimes fall by more than a quarter during 2016
30 March 2017

New statistics show 14 confirmed bird of prey crimes in 2016 compared to 19 the previous year

Scottish Government launches consultation on land use engagement
24 March 2017

The consultation, running from 24 March to 16 June 2017, will inform Scottish Government guidance on how to foster cooperation between land owners and local communities

Share this page