Debris and rubbish on Britain’s beaches


The quality of the bathing water at our seaside resorts has been getting better every year. But, our beaches just keep getting dirtier.

Not all of it is rubbish left by visitors either. The vast majority of the debris that ends up on our beaches is washed ashore. The biggest offenders being plastics, fishing nets and other waste thrown overboard by ships and boats.

The timber that washed ashore in Kent last week was from a Russian cargo ship that lost 1,500 tons of its sawn timber load in rough seas. Large amounts of the wood eventually came ashore on the coastline between Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate and Margate.

Incidents such as this only add to the problem with the amount of rubbish found on our beaches increasing in recent years. Plastic litter on the UK’s beaches is up by a staggering 126% since 1994, according to the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) most recent beachwatch survey.

Conservationists blame the increase on the massive rise in plastic production and the general ‘throwaway nature of modern society’. They warn that as well as putting off tourists, the litter is also a threat to wildlife.



Hmmm.. A lorry and a wood burner and you would be set for life.  All joking aside, I dread to think of the effects the tannins etc. in the wood, will have on the local sea life.  Pen.



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5 responses to “Debris and rubbish on Britain’s beaches

  1. Unknown

    If I may be bold enough to speak out about my host country, I have found that people tend to litter a more here than what I’m used to. I cannot tell how many times I’ve been walking along and watched someone ahead of me drop a pop bottle or wrapper or carrier bag on the ground because they were through with it. The casualness about it is what really gets to me–they honestly don’t realise they are doing anything wrong. Who is supposed to pick it up? Do we really prefer a street peppered with rubbish to a relatively clean one? Are the asthetics of rubbish pleasing somehow? It’s sad. It shows disrespect to the Country as well as the Earth. Good blog Pen. xx

  2. penny

    Thank you Jake. Of course, I agree with all you have said. In the past I have snapped at people"Pick that up!" but the world was a different place then.. or I just got older.

  3. Unknown

    I’ve had to curb my tounge a few times Pen… xx

  4. Jane

    I saw this problem on the news a day or two ago. It really is dreadful. I thought the authorities were trying to clear up the wood and warning locals not to take it?But the other rubbish like plastic and general rubbish that people discard really annoys me too. Then along come the authorities again and ban dogs from beaches as if they made the mess! Ban the non-dog walkers and you would have cleaner beaches. Most people clear up after their dogs now.Often when I am walking my dogs, I take a carrier bag with me. I put the rubbish, paper and plastic bottles and things I see beside the lane where we live in it. We get very few vehicles up our lane… It is unbelieveable how much rubbish the ones that do drive up throw out of their windows. It’s just about only me that actually walks up or down it.

  5. Paul

    This is just another one of the ongoing problems the whole world faces. There is a part of the Pacific where the water swirls in a vortex due to currents and it has become a repsository for a good deal of the junk and trash thrown into the Pacific. This is in the middle of nowhere. Much of it is plastic. A substance which never degrades. Plastic is everywhere. In just about all the everyday item that we use. Let’s face it, as a species, we humans are unthinking slobs.

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