Almost 4 in 10 Brits admit to leaving litter on a beach - and say they will continue to do so

Millions of Brits admit to leaving litter on a beach and say they will continue to do so – because they don't take a rubbish bag with them.

A study of 2,000 adults found almost four in 10 have left rubbish behind while on the coast, and 51 per cent think they will carry on with this bad habit in the future.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A third blame it on not being close enough to any bins but 34 per cent put it down to not having a bag with them to carry the rubbish home in.

It also emerged that the average Brit visits a beach eight times a year, with half taking a picnic with them.

Plastic packaging is present in four items in each picnic, with 39 per cent admitting they don't always take everything home.

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) have left an old BBQ behind at the beach, while the same amount have ditched a broken toy, like a bucket and spade.

A further 14 per cent have thrown cigarette butts on the sand, and 12 per cent have discarded plastic bottles.

Spoiled experiences

A spokesman for korev lager, which commissioned the research, said: "Britain has some stunning beaches but they may not stay this way if we don't look after them.

“Everyone will remember a time they’ve been at the seaside, and had their experience spoiled by litter.

“It’s worrying to see how much rubbish people leave behind, often with the expectation that others will take it home.”

The study also found that while 49 per cent feel ‘guilty’ about their littering, 25 per cent felt ‘fine’ – because someone else would gather it.

Although 52 per cent would be happy to pick up other people’s litter from the beach.

Worryingly, only a quarter have been to a beach recently, without seeing any rubbish left behind.

But if Brits were to find themselves stuck in a situation where there was a bin on the beach which was full, 14 per cent would simply leave their rubbish on the floor.

It also emerged 35 per cent of adults have been on a litter pick, on a beach (53 per cent), in a town or city (51 per cent) or in the countryside (27 per cent).

And nearly six in 10 (56 per cent) feel ‘frustrated’ that litter on beaches is still a problem, even after all the campaigns to keep them clean, according to the OnePoll figures.

korev’s spokesperson added: “Although a huge proportion of the UK are responsible and help to keep our beaches clean, by leaving no trace, we were shocked to see so many Brits are happy to admit to littering.

“The research shows just how important our artwork is in terms of raising awareness and protecting our incredible coastline.”

Following the findings, a quiz has been created to allow you to see how much of a litterbug you are. To take the quiz, go to https://www.korev.co.uk/quiz.

Keeping British beaches clean

korev has announced a new partnership with the Marine Conservation Society and is supporting the charity’s Great British Beach Clean this week (17th-26th September) which involves hundreds of beach cleans taking place nationwide.

Richard Roberts from the Marine Conservation Society said: “Every year, we’re overwhelmed at the support we receive for the Great British Beach Clean.

“But even so, there is still so much we must do to stop litter plaguing our beaches. Last year, our volunteers collected a staggering 3.1 tonnes of rubbish. We also discovered discarded face masks and PPE on 30 per cent of our beach cleans.

“We hope this research plays a part in helping people to see that collectively, we have a huge impact on our environment.

“By working together, we can ensure that our coastlines are protected for both future generations and our local wildlife.

"No matter where you live you can get involved in our beach cleaning week, with inland litter pick options available too.”

To find out more about the Great British Beach Clean visit: https://www.mcsuk.org/what-you-can-do/join-a-beach-clean/the-great-british-beach-clean/