Smoking down but cigarette litter up

| May 15, 2013

The number of cigarette butts found on UK beaches doubled between September 2011 and September 2012, and the amount of smoking-related detritus rose by 90 per cent, according to an ITV Network report quoting the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) annual study of beach litter, Beachwatch Big Weekend.

Overall, litter levels were at their highest level since 2008, and the number of items of rubbish found per kilometre of beach was up from 1,741 in 2011 to just more than 2,000 in 2012.

The MCS said that the rise in smoking-related litter [at a time when smoking is in decline] could be a consequence of more people smoking outside as a result of smoking bans, and dropping their butts rather than putting them in ashtrays.

However, tobacco-related litter was not the main offender. About 65 per cent of the litter recorded was made of plastic, with unidentified scraps of plastic topping the table for the most commonly found litter.

After pieces of plastic, the most commonly found items were crisp, lolly and sweet wrappers, bits of string and cord, caps and lids, pieces of polystyrene, and drinks bottles. The other items making up the top 10 litter list were fishing netting, cigarette stubs, pieces of glass, and fishing line.

Category: Breaking News

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