PLASTIC BAGS, BUTTS AND BOTTLES BLIGHT BRITAIN’S BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!
THE amount of
plastic littering Britain’s beautiful beaches is at its highest
level since records began, according to the Marine Conservation
Society’s (MCS) Beachwatch 2007 survey report. The MCS Beachwatch
2007 Report shows that plastic litter on our beaches has increased
by a staggering 126% since the annual survey began in 1994. Plastic
debris now accounts for over 58% of all litter found on UK beaches,
including plastic bags and plastic drinks bottles.
Plastic-based cigarette butts are also amongst the most frequently
encountered litter items.
Sadly, the tide of plastic litter is not just an unsightly blight on
Britain’s magnificent coastline. Over 170 species of marine wildlife
including seabirds, turtles and whales have been recorded mistaking
marine litter for food resulting in starvation, poisoning and fatal
stomach blockages. In addition, plastic packaging and discarded
fishing nets injure, entangle and drown some of Britain’s favourite
marine wildlife, including seals and dolphins.
“The results are truly shocking, in the last 10 years plastic
drinks bottles have increased by 67%, plastic bags by 54% and
cigarette butts by 44%. Plastics are of particular concern as they
could persist in the marine environment for centuries with fatal
consequences for marine wildlife,” said Emma Snowden, MCS
Litter Projects Coordinator, “The Marine Conservation
Society’s Beachwatch volunteers remove tons of litter from beaches,
and using the survey data they collect, MCS is raising awareness
about this serious situation and the solutions. The plastic litter
problem needs to be tackled at all levels, from grassroots through
to Government, while industry and retail sectors must acknowledge
the need to reduce plastic bag use and packaging.”
The MCS Beachwatch 2007 Report is based on data collected by almost
4,000 volunteers on 354 UK beaches surveyed in mid-September 2007. Volunteers surveyed 168.5km of coast and removed over 346,000 litter
items. This latest report identifies 4 key sources of beach litter -
recreational & beach visitors (35.3%), fishing litter (13.7%),
sewage related debris/sanitary waste (6.1%) and shipping litter
(1.8%). The average density of UK beach litter in the MCS Beachwatch
2007 survey was 2,054 items of litter per kilometre; an average of
2 items for every metre stretch of beach! While MCS lobbies for a
national strategy to tackle this extraordinary volume of rubbish
washing up on our beaches, it also encourages individual
responsibility for litter disposal.
“Everyone can help prevent some of the most common plastic
items littering our beaches and seas by reducing their use",
Emma Snowden continues. “By taking simple steps such as taking
re-usable bags to the supermarket, re-filling plastic bottles with
good old-fashioned tap water, and disposing of litter responsibly,
including cigarette butts, we can all make a difference”.
The full MCS Beachwatch 2007 results can be downloaded at
www.adoptabeach.org.uk. In addition to Beachwatch, MCS also promotes the
“Go Plastic Bag Free”
initiative and currently has over 70 towns and communities in the UK
signed up to the campaign. Information about other MCS litter
campaigns, including the highly successful “Don’t Let Go!”
which promotes wildlife-friendly use of balloons can be found at on
MCS is extremely grateful to The Crown Estate for funding the MCS
litter projects, and MCS Beachwatch is an excellent example of The
Crown Estate and the Marine Conservation Society working together
for the eighth consecutive year to raise public awareness of marine
pollution and encourage participation at a local level.
Dr Carolyn Heeps, Head of Marine Policy and Sustainable Development
at the Crown Estate says:- “Beachwatch and its thousands of
volunteers continues to highlight the increasing problem of litter
on Britain’s beaches. We know that individual action is the answer
to a large part of the problem so we hope that everyone will take
notice of the Marine Conservation Society’s report and will act
responsibly to keep Britain’s beaches beautiful and free of litter.”
The Marine Conservation Society works in cooperation with the
Project AWARE Foundation to organise underwater cleanup events. The
data from MCS Beachwatch surveys also contributes to the
International Coastal Cleanup, involving over 70 countries
worldwide, organised by the Ocean Conservancy in the United States.
MCS would like to thank all of the volunteers that participated in Beachwatch 2007, without whose hard work and dedication the
Beachwatch survey would not be possible.
YOU A BUSINESS HERO?
THE increasing number
of men and women who are turning their lives around by choosing to
start up a new business are highlighted in the Barclays Trading
Places Awards launched 9 April 2008.
The government backed Awards, presented in association with The
Prince’s Trust, feature practical examples of people who have taken
control of their lives by deciding to go it alone.
Previous winners include a single mum who overcame physical abuse to
set up a successful beauty business and a former policeman who lost
an arm and his career but went on to establish a driving school for
Whether it is overcoming a failed relationship, turning your back on
benefits, or transforming your life when dealing with a physical
disability we would like to hear from you.
The Awards are open to everyone who has been trading for a minimum
of three months and a maximum of three years, with an annual
turnover of less than £1 million.
Launching Trading Places 2008, Barclays’ Marketing Director for
Local Business, John Davis, said:- “This is a celebration of
Merseyside’s unsung heroes who, in spite of great personal
challenges, have taken steps to establish a sustainable business and
in doing so changed the direction of their lives – for the benefit
of themselves and their families. We are delighted to have
this opportunity of celebrating the inspiring achievement of these
individuals whilst highlighting an increasingly important sector of
the business community – the sole traders and small business
operations that underpin our economy.”
Other supporters are the Department for Business, Enterprise and
Regulatory Reform (BERR), Jobcentre Plus, The National Federation of
Enterprise Agencies (NFEA) and Microsoft.
John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and
Regulatory Reform, said:- “I am delighted to once again have
the opportunity to support the Barclays Trading Places Awards. The
Government recognises the need to unlock enterprising talent amongst
people of all sections of society and its role in encouraging people
to have the ambition to start and grow their own businesses. I
would like to congratulate all those involved in this year’s Awards
and wish you every success for the event.”
Entries for the Barclays Trading Places Awards; now in their fourth
year; must be in by 30 May 2008.
Nomination leaflets are available by
calling 0800 085 3203 or visiting
Judges will select 10 National Finalists who will attend a
prestigious Awards Dinner in London at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor
Square, on 7 October 2008, where they will each be awarded £1,100 worth
of desktop software by Microsoft. The winner will receive a further
£2,200 worth of Microsoft server software.
In addition the winner and runner-up, to be announced on the night,
will receive £10,000 and £5,000 respectively, courtesy of Barclays.
All ears for
International Noise Awareness Day
hearing centre is using International Noise Awareness Day on
Wednesday 16 April to educate the community about hearing care
issues. As part of its campaign Specsavers hearing centre in
Southport will offer free 3-minute hearing screenings to its
International Noise Awareness Day is being spearheaded by The League
for the Hard of Hearing to promote the importance of quiet homes,
schools and recreational areas for relaxation, concentration and
Hearing Aid Audiologist at Southport’s Hearing Centre, John Mathers,
explains:- ‘In today’s society noise pollution is unavoidable
and the damage caused by the misuse of MP3 players and noisy bars
and nightclubs is becoming ever more evident to audiologists
nationwide. We wanted to encourage people to recognise that
silence can be golden and to give their ears some thought, so are
offering free screenings.’
Hearing care is becoming a mounting issue, with research revealing
that hearing damage can begin at only 85 decibels, which is the
level regularly attained on an underground train and exceeded in a
car travelling at 50 mph, which can reach up to 90 decibels.