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What are the 10 brands that make up 50pc of litter on our beaches?

PUBLISHED: 15:22 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:51 14 May 2019

Over 50pc of the rubbish on our beaches is made up from 10 brands, the charity Surfers Against Sewage have revealed. Picture: Surfers Against Sewage.

Over 50pc of the rubbish on our beaches is made up from 10 brands, the charity Surfers Against Sewage have revealed. Picture: Surfers Against Sewage.

Archant

Household brands from a handful of companies make up more than half of the packaging litter found on our beaches.

Top of the list of offenders, according to research carried out by ocean conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage, are Coca Cola and PepsiCo.

While debate over who is responsible for such branded litter simmers on - the companies or the consumers - groups across the county including parish councils, businesses and individuals continue to organise regular beach cleans.

In Great Yarmouth the Sea Life Centre runs a monthly beach clean.

Stacy Adams, the centre's display supervisor, said that most of the rubbish they pick up is unbranded.

A beach clean organised by Great Yarmouth's Sea Life Centre drew more than 200 volunteers Picture: Sea LifeA beach clean organised by Great Yarmouth's Sea Life Centre drew more than 200 volunteers Picture: Sea Life

"We haven't picked up too much stuff that was branded," she said.

"What we tend to find here is more of the seafront-related things, cutlery and disposable plates, straws, a lot of cigarette stubs."

Volunteers clean a mile-long stretch of the beach in front of the centre.

On New Year's Day over 200 volunteers picked up 289kg of rubbish.

Some of the 189 volunteers taking part in the Great Yarmouth beach cleanSome of the 189 volunteers taking part in the Great Yarmouth beach clean

Last year the haul from three cleans was 335kg.

"We're smashing that record already this year," Ms Adams said.

The volunteers pick up between 50kg and 200kg on every beach clean.

Ms Adams advised visitors to take litter home.

She said: "Ask yourself do you really need a plastic fork to eat your chips with?

"Do you really need a straw for your drink?"

Caister Parish Council organised a beach clean in March.

Kevin Wood, the vice-chairman, said the litter included all sorts of things including glass bottles in the dunes and a toilet-seat.

"Along the shoreline we find minute pieces of plastic that are washed up," he said.

Bob Smith, who organises a monthly beach clean in Sheringham, said: "Anything that mankind can dispose of he will do and it will eventually find its way onto a beach."

He also said that the amount of litter has decreased "dramatically", with each volunteer now filling one third of a black sack instead of two full black sacks as they used to when the clean-up began 10 years ago.

The figures revealed by Surfers Against Sewage were calculated during beach cleans in April across the UK.

The charity said the results show that the majority of UK waste found strewn across the coastline is the "responsibility of just a handful of companies".

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Hugo Tagholm, chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage, said: "These companies must invest more in the redesign of packaging, alternative ways of product delivery and ramping up packaging re-use to truly turn the tide on the plastic pollution that is sweeping our world."

Top 10 Parent Companies of Branded Packaging Pollution in the region:

1. Coca Cola

2. PepsiCo (owns Walkers)

3. Mondelez International (owns Cadbury)

4. Tesco

5. Mars

6. Suntory

7. Nestle

8. Danone

9. McDonalds

10. Haribo

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