From a millennium base line to 2012: Beach litter changes in Wales

Source: Science Direct

Authors:A.T. Williams, P. Randerson, O.A. Alharbi

Abstract

Forty-five beaches at 41 bathing area locations in Wales were analysed for litter in 2000 and 2012, via a standard seven category checklist. Fourteen resorts, 2 urban, 11 village, 15 rural 3 remote, were graded, A to D. A grade beach numbers changed from 5 to19; B, 27 to 24; C, 9 to 2; D, 4 to 0, many beaches maintaining their current status. Assuming trend continuance within the next 12 years, the A:B grade ratio would approach equilibrium of 44:56, with no grade C or D beaches. Recreational litter was ubiquitous; fishing materials prevalent along Cardigan Bay. New water treatment plant investment reduced sewage related debris. Despite apparent increased awareness of beach litter, improving visitor behaviour through information/education should be a future priority. Removing a few gross items could improve beach grades at little cost to local authorities and benefits to the Welsh economy.

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