Beach litter a killer on Mersey coasts

Via the Echo:

Beach litter a killer on Mersey coasts

Jun 9 2008 by Kevin Core, Liverpool Echo

A TIDE of plastic is threatening one of the region’s greatest natural resources – the coast.

Summer may have drawn an early rush of visitors to beaches across Merseyside, but new figures suggest our throwaway culture is fuelling a growing crisis.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) promotes an annual Beachwatch, which sees enthusiastic amateurs hit the coastline to not only clean up – but meticulously document the litter they find.

Typical of the region as a whole, New Brighton’s findings showed that 57% of rubbish was plastic, sentencing scores of marine animals and seabirds to an early death from entanglement or choking.

Barbara Duff is one of the dedicated MCS Beachwatch volunteers who joined members of Wallasey Soroptomists in measuring the litter on the beach.

She said: “We adopt a piece of beach by Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton.

“In the last clean-up on an area 120 metres by 20 metres we recovered 1,400 separate pieces of rubbish.

“I’ve been involved for four years and it was the highest amount of plastic we had ever recorded.

“Turtles are known to mistake floating plastic bags for jellyfish, they are ingested, their guts are blocked and they die.

“We have found seagulls with bits of fishing line wrapped around them, they also eat up the plastic.

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