Survey Shows Worrying Rise in UK Beach Rubbish

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22nd June 2012 15:10 - Local Government

A new study by the Marine Conservation Society has revealed a 40% average rise in bathroom rubbish spread over Britain’s beaches in the past year.

A range of items were found during the societies Beachwatch Big Weekend last September, reflecting the fact that people were using toilets as bins, and this garbage then finds its way into the sea.
 
Beachwatch Officer, Lauren Davis, commented: "[Bathroom rubbish] is being flushed away with an ‘out of sight, out of mind' perception... But sewerage networks and waste water treatment works are not designed to remove these sort of items and, unfortunately, more and more are ending up in our rivers and beaches."

The society’s initiative to stop people disposing of their rubbish in this way is backed by a number of UK water companies.

Yorkshire Water’s Environmental Regulation Manager, Edmund Bramley, said: "By flushing things like baby wipes, cotton buds or nappies down toilets, people can end up causing damage both to their homes and the environment."

Nearly 5,000 volunteers helped to clean up 376 UK beaches for the Big Weekend, with over 167km covered.  Seven percent of the 330,000 items recovered were bathroom waste, with nearly 16,000 cotton buds collected.

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