Wet wipes the main culprit in beach clean findings

WET wipes appear to be main culprit in a survey of litter picked up on Scotland’s beaches.

According to results published by the Marine Conservation Society, some 293 surveys were undertaken last year by volunteers, taking part in the Society’s annual beach clean. That represented a 15 per cent increase on the previous year, 2021.

Some 3,294 volunteers took part in the annual beach clean, their task to each work on a stretch of beach just 100m long.

Says the MCS, here: “Unfortunately, wet wipes are still a major problem in certain areas of Scotland. Over 30,000 wet wipes were picked up in 2022, highlighting the need for a ban on plastic in single-use wet wipes, as well as additional support to switch to reusables. This is in addition to more monitoring and improvements of Scotland’s wastewater network.”

The announcement adds: “It’s clear that Scotland needs to transition from a throwaway society to one which reuses, repairs and refills instead. Hopefully, the Circular Economy Bill, which is expected this parliamentary session, will help reduce beach litter.

“With plastic and polystyrene cups recorded on 58 per cent of beaches, we hope the Bill will include legislation for a charge on cups, like the carrier bag charge, along with other supportive measures to move to more reusable options.”

Among other Scotland findings:

  • 67 per cent of cleans found sanitary materials;
  • 52 per cent of cleans found wet wipes
  • 100 per cent of cleans found plastic and polystyrene items;
  • 95 per cent of cleans found plastic caps and lids; and
  • 58 per cent of cleans found plastic and polystyrene cups.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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