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Drastic drop in plastic bags found in UK sea following 5p charge

Staff Writer |
The 5p charge for plastic bags in the UK has led to a large drop in the number of bags being found on the seabed.

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A new study looking at the composition of marine litter found that campaigns to cut down on plastic bag use are having an effect on the seas around Britain.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) looked at plastic picked up by fishing vessels in the North Sea and English Channel, as well as the Celtic and Irish seas.

Scientists estimated there has been a 30% decrease in the proportion of plastic bags found in trawls from 2010 to 2017.

However, researchers found that the overall amount of litter on the seafloor has stayed the same in the last 25 years and there has been an increase in other items such as fishing debris.

Over the entire study period, 63% of the trawls contained at least one item of plastic litter.

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