Plastic litter in UK seas rises by 150% in one year

The amount of litter in Britain's seas has increased by more than 150% in a year, figures published by DEFRA show. Elizabeth is campaigning for a reduction in the amount of plastic used for packaging and water consumption.

Elizabeth said, "this is a serious global problem and our Government ought to be leading the way in tackling this. If you have seen the images of rubbish from the oceans and the amount of plastic being removed from the stomachs of our marine life, then you will understand this needs action now."

An average of 358 litter items were found per square kilometre of seabed in 2016, a 158% rise on the previous year, and 222% higher than the average for 1992-94. Almost 78% of the litter found is plastic.

The figures were revealed in a government report on the state of the environment in England, which showed that 9 of 22 environmental indicators were assessed to be deteriorating in the short-term.

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Tim Farron commented:

“This damning report shows the state of our natural environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate. It is particularly worrying to see such a sharp rise in plastic litter polluting our seas. Unless we take action, in a few years Blue Planet will have to be renamed Plastic Planet.

“The Government needs to get its act together and take urgent action to clean up our seas and countryside. The long promised 25-year plan to protect our environment needs to be published now, not simply kicked into the long grass.”

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