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10th Feb 2020

It’s time to clean up Britain’s dirty beaches

Oli Dugmore

Welcome to Canvey Island

5,000 pieces of marine plastic pollution can be found on every mile of UK beach, and there will be more than 150 plastic bottles in that same space. You might find lighters, tampon applicators, toilet seats and fishing equipment – if you’re lucky.

The ocean regulates our climate, it is the number one source of protein for more than 1 billion people. And we’re filling it with plastic shite. To prove a point, and alleviate my conscience about my contribution to the destruction of the planet, I decided to clean up a small piece of beach. Concord Beach, Canvey Island.

It’s pretty far from the Pacific Ocean, but out in the middle of it, there’s a floating land mass, made entirely of plastic that’s larger than the state of Texas.

Of all the plastic ever produced in the entire history of human existence, only 9% of it has been recycled. The rest is out here.