I visited Bournemouth beach last Tuesday and I decided to collect and record all the litter I could find in 15 minutes. To my surprise, it was easier than expected, finding heaps of stuff after only a couple of minutes of searching:
After 15, I had picked up 50 or so* items and I put them all together and took a picture. Afterwards I did some calculations:
- 86% of the marine debris collected was purely plastic.
- the 14% left over consisted of rope, paper fragments, metal caps, cigarette butts and firework litter.
- Of the total number of marine plastic debris, 85% were single use plastics such as bags, food wrappers,lids, caps, straws, bottles and cutlery.
Considering that single use plastics make up 85% of the debris found on the beach, it’s clear that this has become an epidemic!
*Up to 12 unknown small plastic fragments ( smaller than 5 cm) were collected as well, however tiny fragments and plastic pellets were also spotted, they were not taken for statistics this time since there will be further research on pellets and microplastics alone!