Plastic bag ban halves beach litter

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Britain’s beaches are getting cleaner, following the introduction of the 5p plastic bag tax.

The Marine Conservation Society found fewer than seven bags per 100m of coastline, compared to 11 when the UK’s beaches were surveyed a year ago.

The 40 per cent reduction - leading to the lowest total in 10 years - will, say the charity, help save marine wildlife such as whales, turtles and seabirds, who mistake plastic bags and balloons for jellyfish.

However, litter collected and analysed by the volunteers showed a rise of more than 4 per cent in the numbers of drinks containers found on the country’s beaches, including plastic bottles, cans, and bottle tops.

Overall, the Great British Beach Clean saw 6,000 volunteers rid the UK’s coastline of 268,384 items of rubbish.