The Clean Earth Trust (“CET”) has published its Marine Litter Report (“MLR”), which is the first annual report on the marine litter found on Guernsey’s beaches. The full report can be viewed here.
The MLR contains analysis of 122 beach litter collections carried out by CET and a team of volunteers during 2021. The work involved over 2,000 volunteer hours. The results are that 48,924 pieces of marine litter weighing more than two tonnes were collected. The analysis of the litter shows that 76% of the items were plastic and 33% of all items were single use plastic. Cigarette butts collected numbered 7,275.
From the data analysed in the MLR it is possible to estimate the likely quantities of marine litter accumulating on the 40 beaches of the Bailiwick annually. Assuming each beach needs a litter collection at least weekly a total of 2,080 collections would be needed annually and assuming each collection produced similar volumes of litter as found in the survey the grossed up annual figures would be as follows:
MLR Survey Result
48,924 pieces of litter collected
Weight of collected items: 2 tonnes
33% single -use plastic.
7,275 cigarette butts collected
Grossed-Up Annual Equivalent for Bailiwick
834,016 pieces of litter deposited annually
34.10 tonnes of waste deposited annually
633,852 items would be plastic
275,225 items would be single -use plastic
124,033 cigarette butts
The MLR assesses in detail the threats posed by plastic to the environment, its contribution to global warming and climate change and its potential impact on human health.
Armed with the findings from the MLR, CET will be launching a petition calling on the States of Guernsey to ban the supply of certain single-use plastics and calling for the implementation of a plastic reduction measures government wide.
“The Marine Litter Report is a ground-breaking piece of citizen science demonstrating the shocking impact of marine plastic pollution in Guernsey and globally and is a call for action which we will be addressing with the States of Guernsey,” says Paul Bugden, Policy Officer of CET.
CET is deeply grateful for the support for production of the MLR, which we have received from The Royal Bank of Canada through its Tech for Nature programme, which supports new initiatives for addressing our most complex environmental challenges.
“We are thrilled to support CET’s vital work and the production of the MLR in Guernsey, through RBC Tech for Nature. Supporting initiatives such as the MLR echoes RBC’s commitment to our communities and the climate; building a cleaner future and achieving a lower emissions world.” says Lisa Barnett, Managing Director, Royal Bank of Canada, Guernsey.