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Plastic pollution: 'Scourge' of debris on beaches tackled

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A dedicated team has been formed, based in the south west but covering the entire coast of England
The Environment Agency (EA) has started checking more than 500 beaches weekly as part of a government pledge to eradicate avoidable plastics by 2042.EA officers are carrying out the monitoring alongside their water quality sampling.The agency said the checks would "give another level of detail" on the "scourge of plastics" on beaches.A dedicated team has been formed, based in the south west but covering the entire coast of England.In January, a
Information on the amount and type of plastics found at each location is saved on to a database.
Blue Planet effect
Bruce Newport is head of the new plastics and sustainability team at the EA. He said the new initiative gave them "another level of detail"."If we find beaches that are heavily contaminated with plastic we will work with community groups, non-government organisations and we will actually work with local companies. Depending what needs to be done we can support or regulate to try and reduce the scourge of plastic which is hitting our beaches causing many many problems," he said.The damage plastics can do to marine wildlife was highlighted on the BBC's Blue Planet earlier this year, provoking a range of measures from the government and community groups.
Environment agency officers are carrying out the monitoring alongside their water quality sampling
More than eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world's oceans each year and about 90% of seabirds have eaten it.Mr Newport added: "Having a clean beach not only is good for wildlife, not only is it good for people who come here - it's good for our economy as well." "By being responsible with the use of plastics we can achieve that. And having a plastic free coastline is our ambition."
Environment
Pollution
Environment Agency
Plastic pollution
Plastic
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