University of Exeter study shows extent of plastic pollution on Cornish beaches

5th December 2017
news
release

As we campaign to reduce unnecessary packaging and beat the scourge of plastic waste, a seven-year study of Cornish beaches shows the harm this kind of pollution is doing to our natural environment.

Research from the University of Exeter shows that Cornish beaches are suffering from the blight of plastics pollution. Marine litter has a massively detrimental environmental impact on beaches and wildlife as borne out by the study’s findings which include:

•    220,802 plastic items were found along only nine beaches in Cornwall

•    89% of the litter found on the beaches was plastic

•    3,109 of plastic items identified were drink bottles

Sion Elis Williams, South West campaigner for Friends of the Earth, commented:

“It’s absolutely awful that we allow this to happen. The number of plastic drink bottles found along Cornish beaches clearly shows the need for a deposit return scheme – it’s popular and has been proven to work in the past.

“We also need to focus on the real culprits, and that’s the companies that produce these piles of plastic in the first place.

“People are starting to fight back against plastics pollution. Let’s hope our lovely Cornish beaches don’t suffocate for much longer because of this needless waste: they, as well as marine life, deserve so much better.”

1.    University of Exeter study