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Last Updated: Tuesday March 22 2005 10:46 GMT

UK beaches 'covered in rubbish'

A massive survey of Britain's beaches has shown they're covered in more rubbish than ever before.

More than 3,000 volunteers examined 269 beaches and found a piece of litter every 50cm along the coastline.

The survey found the amount of rubbish found on the beaches has gone up by 82% over the last 10 years.

The Marine Conservation Society's Beachwatch 2004 Report also discovered most of the rubbish was plastic, which can harm marine life.

Every year thousands of animals are thought to die because they eat or get tangled up in plastic litter like nets and bags.

And plastic is especially harmful to the environment because it takes a long time to break down.

'Take rubbish home'

Fulmars are one of the seabirds being looked at in the survey
Lots of children took part in the survey in September, and lots of the litter found was ice-cream and lolly wrappers.

Richard Harrington from the Marine Conservation Society told Newsround: "Everybody can make a difference by doing the simple things - like putting stuff in the bin, or taking it home and recycling where you can.

"It makes a huge difference to how much rubbish there is on the beach or in the sea," he added.



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