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Weather is to blame for rise in beach litter

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

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Volunteers are needed to help coastal communities recover from the wettest winter on record.

The winter storms have left beaches across the country covered in an unprecedented amount of marine litter.

Conservationists say tide lines are covered in a thick, multi-coloured layer of marine litter as far as the eye can see.

Cotton bud sticks, shipping crates, carrier bags, water bottles, fishing netting and cigarette butts have all been washed ashore by the savage tides whipped up by high winds.

At the end of this month volunteers will be rolling up their sleeves for Big Spring Beach Clean event to tackle the litter crisis at more than 120 stretches of coastline.

It will run over four days between March 28- 31 and stretch from Sennen near Land's End to Thurso near John o'Groats and cover 50 beaches in the South West.

Surfers Against Sewage say this year they will need thousands of extra volunteers to remove over 15 tonnes of litter.

The Ross-on-Wye based Marine Conservation Society which organises the annual clean up said litter isn't just an unsightly mess spoiling the beaches for visitors.

Plastic in particular causes major problems for the natural coastal environment and wildlife.

Hugo Tagholm, SAS chief executive says: "The marine litter crisis poses an unprecedented threat to the sustainability of our marine environments a threat that the world is only just waking up to."

For full details of the coastal clean up see www.sas.org.uk/events

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