Cigarette butts most common littered item on Europe's beaches

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Data was collected from 1,627 beach clean-up events between 2014 and 2017

Cigarette butts are the most commonly found item littered on Europe’s beaches according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Data collected by volunteers using the EEA’s Marine LitterWatch mobile app found from nearly 700,000 collected items, disposable plastics were the biggest contributor to marine litter.

Other common items included piece of plastic and polystyrene, plastic cups and lids, shopping bags, cotton bud sticks and drink bottles.

Data was collected from 1,627 beach clean-up events between 2014 and 2017 across the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean.

It was consistent with official data released, showing an encouraging sign that volunteer-collected data can complement official data on marine litter and therefore help tackle the problem.

The EEA’s Marine LitterWatch app is available for free download on Android and iOS devices.


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