SHOREHAM Beach has the worst litter record in West Sussex, according to the latest Marine Conservation Society data.
The annual Great British Beach Clean report published today shows 783 litter items were collected on Shoreham Beach, filling 20 bags of litter.
The beach clean was carried out on Sunday, September 21, by 35 members and volunteers, organised by Friends of Shoreham Beach.
Other beaches monitored in West Sussex included Rustington, with 662 items of litter in four bags, East Worthing with 182 items of litter in two bags, and central Worthing with 383 items of litter in two bags.
Charlotte Coombes, the society’s beachwatch officer, said: “The latest results from our weekend-long Great British Beach Clean event held between September 19 and 22 show that plastic pieces are once again the most frequently found items on UK beaches.
“Mostly, these can’t be identified so will almost certainly have been in the marine environment for years, starting off as something much bigger and then slowly breaking down.
The problem is they will never disappear completely and research is underway to look at the impact these microplastics could be having on the food chainCharlotte Coombes, beachwatch officer
“The problem is they will never disappear completely and research is underway to look at the impact these microplastics could be having on the food chain.”
The clean identified piles of wet wipes littering beaches, indicating more people are using moist cloths to replace traditional toilet paper. The society said the number found had increased by more than 50 per cent in one year.
Overall, the report reveals a 6.4 per cent rise in beach litter between 2013 and 2014, at a time when the Government is claiming it is doing all it can.
Dr Sue Kinsey, senior pollution policy officer, said: “There is an international obligation for the UK Government to take action to reduce marine litter under an EU marine directive.
“We therefore believe Government needs to produce National Marine Litter Action Plans for England and Wales, similar to thosealready produced for Scotland and Northern Ireland.”