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  I helped clean up my beach
Updated 01 November 2004, 11.10
Boys on beach
Iain got involved in a school project to clean up the beaches where he lives in Shetland.

He explains the suggestions he and his classmates have come up with to try and deal with marine litter.

"My class became concerned about the amount of litter washing up on Shetland so we decided to do some beach surveys.

By studying what had washed up on the beach we found that a lot of waste was washing up from places like America, Germany and Spain.

Lots of it had been dumped in the sea and had drifted onto the beach.

As well as a lot of packaging and fishing waste we found all sorts of things including, toys, lighters, bottles and rope.

After cleaning up the beaches we went back to the same spots a few weeks later and found that there was much less rubbish which suggested it had built up over the years.

Lethal litter

We also learnt how marine life is affected by the waste in the water.

Boys sort through litter
The beach-combing turned up piles of litter
Birds swallow small pieces of plastic which makes them feel full and then they can starve to death.

Some turtles eat plastic bags floating in the water because they look like jellyfish and then they choke.

Fish can be poisoned by waste dumped into the sea and so there will be less food for other animals.

A wildlife expert came to our school and dissected some dead sea birds he had found.

He discovered a piece of plastic in a fulmar which would equal the size of a small football if the bird was human size.

Possible solutions

During the project we came up with some ideas to deal with sea pollution:

  • A tax on plastic bags
  • Fines for those caught dumping waste and litter
  • More research into ways of keeping the environment clean.

    I hope that the information we gathered and our suggestions will help people think twice about dumping rubbish at sea."

    Iain, 12, Shetland


    Why don't you write us a Press Pack report - and get it published on the site?!

    It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.



  • More InfoBORDER=0
    ChatHave you ever had a run-in with a jellyfish?!
    ClubHow to write YOUR report
    ClubVisitors are ruining our beaches
    ClubWe need a solution to pollution
    ClubI helped save a beached porpoise

    BORDER=0

    Past StoriesBORDER=0
    Heavy rain 'could harm swimmers'
    Clean water boost for UK beaches
    Whales 'at risk from pollution'
    Storm sewage kills river's fish

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