Ever since the single-use plastic bag tax was introduced to the United Kingdom over the last five years, there has been a dramatic drop in bags found on the nation’s beaches.
The five pence tax was introduced in Wales in 2011, Northern Ireland in 2013, Scotland in 2014 and England in 2015, due to pressure from the MCS, as well as other partners. Wales showed the lowest amount of plastic bags, amounting to 4 bags per 100 meters. The U.K. average was 7 plastic bags per 100 meters rather than the recorded 11 bags from 2015.
The cleanup recruited the help of over 6,000 volunteers to clean 364 beaches around the U.K. The crew collected 268,384 individual pieces of litter – which is reportedly less than they found last year.