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  Beach litter hits a record high
Updated 01 May 2004, 09.55
A beach
More litter was left on Britain's beaches in 2003 than in any other year, according to a new survey by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

The MCS has been keeping an eye on the beaches for the last 10 years, and 2003 was the muckiest so far.

The MCS says the current laws aren't working and that people still need to learn not to leave rubbish behind.

More than 2,500 volunteers helped clean and survey 244 beaches over two days in September 2003.

Andrea Crump, MCS litter projects co-ordinator, said: "Tourists will choose a beach because of its beautiful scenery and clean sands, then spoil the beach for other users by leaving their rubbish behind."

Bag tax

Beach visitors were the worst offenders
Beach visitors were the worst offenders
The survey found there was 29% more litter than in 2002 and a whopping 99% more than the first survey back in 1994.

Plastic bags made up 50% of the litter found with 5,831 collected.

The MCS want a big reduction in the amount of plastic packaging used on items and would like the government to bring in tax on plastic bags.

Eating litter

But it's not just people that hate the sight of rubbish because litter can also be dangerous for wildlife.

Every year it's thought that many animals die because of being caught in, or, eating litter.

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