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Northern Ireland has Britain's most littered beaches

May 14, 2013 at 1:20 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 14 (UPI) -- Scotland has more plastic bottles on its beaches than anywhere else in Britain, while Northern Ireland has the most general litter, an environmental group says.

The Marine Conservation Society held its annual Beachwatch Big Weekend with volunteers picking litter off the sand from Lands End in Cornwall to John O'Groats in Scotland, The Scotsman reported. The group said Scottish beaches had an average of 110 plastic bottles per kilometer compared with an average of 75 for all of Britain.

In Northern Ireland, volunteers picked up an average of 8,224 pieces of litter on every kilometer of beach.

Around Britain, the number of cigarette filters doubled from last year, the society said. Other smoking-related litter that increased included empty cigarette packs and discarded lighters.

"As we continue to embrace the concept of a throwaway society, it's no surprise that plastic dominates the litter we find," said Anne Saunders, the society's Scottish projects manager. "Last year, we saw an encouraging drop in sewage-related debris on Scottish beaches -- that's the stuff people shouldn't put down their loos but do, like sanitary towels, nappies and condoms. But this year's figures show that has risen again, which is very disappointing."

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