Beach litter levels rise in Scotland

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Beach litter on Scottish coasts rose by 6% in 2017

Beach litter on Scottish coasts rose by 6% in 2017, according to research by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

Litter classed by MCS as ‘on the go’ items, such as drinks cups, plastic cutlery and sandwich packets, made up 17% of all litter found on Scottish beaches.

Every year, MCS runs the UK’s largest beach clean-up and survey where all items found are recorded according to an internationally agreed methodology.

Scotland had the fourth highest litter density for a third year in a row.

The charity argues it’s time for a levy on single-use items at each home national level given environmental levies are a devolved matter.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “We know that most marine litter starts on land – it’s things that are carelessly discarded that then get into water courses, polluting our rivers and seas.

“That’s why the Scottish Government’s plan to introduce a deposit return system for drinks containers, building on the successful carrier bag charge, as well as investigating wider measures to tackle a throwaway society are so vital.”

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