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Last Updated: Thursday April 10 2008 06:29 GMT

Plastic washed up on UK beaches

Rubbish on a beach

There's more plastic being washed up on our beaches than ever before, a survey of Britain's coastline has found.

Volunteers collected hundreds of thousands of pieces of rubbish, and found more than half of them were things like plastic bags and bottles.

Experts say the results are really worrying because plastic can take years to decay, and can be really dangerous for wildlife living around the coast.

Experts are now calling for everyone to help tackle the problem.

They want people to take their rubbish home with them when they visit the beach, and try to re-use plastic bags and bottles.

Shops and businesses are being asked to help too, by cutting down on packaging and the number of plastic bags used.


Four thousand volunteers walked across 350 beaches for the Marine Research Society (MCS) survey.

The amount of plastic they found was the highest since records began.