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Coastal clean-up sees reduced litter

Cromwell’s coastal clean-up sees reduction in beach litter for 4th year

Cromwell Polythene’s team recently took to the sandy shores of Filey, Yorkshire, to carry out their annual Beach Clean – hosted by the Marine Conservation Society.

Volunteers from Cromwell have taken part in the coastal clean-up event since 2017, armed with litter pickers and bags. Although COVID-19 prevented them from attending in 2020, 2021’s event was able to go ahead without a hitch.

Arecent study estimates that the amount of marine litter found on UK beaches has more than doubled in the last 15 years: this would result in an estimated 6.4m tonnes of litter entering the sea annually.

Despite littering being an unlawful act and many media outlets showcasing the hazards, it’s still a current issue in today’s society. In an attempt to reduce litter waste, members of the Cromwell team actively carry out several annual litter picks, including the Great British Beach Clean & the Great British Spring Clean, whilst also supporting local charity groups to carry out their own litter picks with bag and equipment donations.

After arriving at the shores of Filey, the Cromwell team began cleaning up the same strip of beach that was tackled in both 2019 and 2018. Consistency between the beach cleans was to enable a fair comparison of results between the three litter picks. This year, 195 items of discarded litter were collected, showing a reduction from the last clean-up, in which they found 346 items in and around the same area. Items found were very similar to previous years, with the most collected items still being strings and rope, tissues, microplastics, cigarettes stubs, foam balls and other beach toys.

One thing that was a concern to the volunteers was that the tissue waste collected appeared to be excess litter following a possible gender reveal event. Gender reveals have become a recent new craze with expectant parents, however, the celebrations didn’t in this case appear extend to cleaning up afterwards with the disposal of confetti.

Joshua Wood, Cromwell’s Marketing Manager, said: “We were pleased that the scale of littering appears to have reduced when compared to previous years’ analyses. We all want to see the recovery, reuse, and recycling of every type of packaging, and it’s vital that we work together to find solutions to protect our environment, combat climate change, keep products in use for as long as possible, and prevent leakage of valuable resources from the circular economy.”

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