Breaking into News: Plastic litter on West Country beaches increases by 15%

Credit: ITV News

A report by the Marine Conservation Society has found almost 945 items of litter for every 100 metres of beach last year – making it one of the worst regions in the country for beach litter.

The charity said that between 60–70% of litter they find on beaches is plastic – which breaks down into smaller pieces, but never completely decomposes.

Ecover estimates that 2 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK with the use of plastics expected to double in the next 20 years.

Prof Richard Thompson of Plymouth University warns that plastic never fully biodegrades and that the smaller it is, the bigger the risk it poses to wildlife through ingestion.

Volunteers across the region are doing their bit for the environment, by taking part in beach cleans. To find your nearest event visit

Professor Richard Thompson, right, talking to our reporter Chris Baker Credit: ITV News

ITV News and the Media Trust have teamed up for the ‘Breaking Into News’ scheme, a nationwide competition that gives young people the chance to produce their own local news report about a topic of their choice.

This year’s West Country finalist is Chris Baker, who made this report.

*Images in report from Marine Conservation Society (by John Archer-Thomson & Alex Mustard).

Breaking Into News is a Media Trust scheme delivered in partnership with ITV News. For more information visit