Cigarette butts and filters most common litter found on beaches
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New data has just been released by the European Environment Agency about marine litter found on Europe’s beaches.
According to the data, based on nearly 700,000 collected items, disposable plastics are the biggest contributor to marine litter, with cigarette butts and filters being the most commonly found individual items.
The new data has been collected by volunteers using the EEA’s Marine LitterWatch mobile app.
In a statement, the EEA said that this data was collected by volunteer groups at beaches across Europe’s four regional seas – the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean.
Volunteer groups, using the EEA app collected litter data at 1,627 beach clean-up events between 2014 and 2017. The EEA said that it has been responsible for controlling the quality of the data and analysing the results.
The most common items found on beaches include cigarette butts and filters, pieces of plastics and polystyrene, fragments of glass and ceramics, plastic cups and lids, cotton bud sticks, shopping bags, crisp packets, strings and cords, and drink bottles.
The EEA added that as for materials, disposable plastics are by far the biggest contributor to marine litter across all four regional seas.
The Agency noted that the new data recorded with the EEA app “is consistent with official data released, for example, under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s Technical Group on Marine Litter and the first ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics.”
This finding shows that data recorded by volunteers can complement official data on marine litter and thus help tackle the problem, the Agency said.