Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Scale of plastic tide on Northern Ireland beaches

By Adrian Rutherford

The vast majority of litter found on Northern Ireland's beaches is plastic, a survey has revealed.

Last year an average of 437 items of rubbish were found per 100m of beach here.

Some 82% of this was made of plastic, according to the 2017 Marine Litter Report, published by green charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

It said 30% of the litter was a single-use plastic, meaning the item is used once and then thrown away.

The spotlight has been thrown on plastic because of shows like Blue Planet II and the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.

The Marine Litter Report refers to the harm that plastic poses to some of our most beloved and protected marine animals.

It notes estimates that up to 99% of all seabirds will have ingested plastic by 2050 if no fundamental changes to plastic consumption and waste occurs.

It also flags up the issue of microplastics, tiny fragments which have been found in 83% of tap water samples taken around the world.

Dr Ian Humphries from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful believes the tide is starting to turn on marine litter.

He said: "The damaging effects of littering, particularly of single-use plastics that end up polluting our oceans, is clearly highlighted in this year's report, which shows four items of litter for every step that we take along our coast.

"Thankfully, most people don't litter, and growing awareness and calls for action spell the beginning of the end for this highly anti-social behaviour."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph