Rubbish Dumped at Sea Costs Scotland £17m Per Year

The findings of a new study by the Marine Conservation Society of Scotland has spelled trouble for the Scottish fishing industry, with findings that indicate that plastics have become the largest threat to the Scottish maritime industry. According to an article in the Herald Scotland, which was written by senior news reporter Brian Donnelly, plastic pollution is costing the industry around £17 million per year to process. Writes Donnelly:

The Marine Scotland study found that beach and coast users are the worst culprits for litter and that plastics have become the biggest threat to the environment and the coastal and maritime economy, which is worth at least £2.2 billion a year and supports 50,000 jobs not including the oil industry.

Undersea and coastal wildlife tourism, sailing and sea angling are among the key leisure activities being hit by litter including plastic bags, food containers, fishing gear and debris from ships.

The lack of improvement in levels of marine litter is a key stumbling block for the Scottish Government's green ambitions and its Zero Waste Plan.

The report said marine litter threatens targets including reducing waste significantly by 2020 and may "impact upon Scotland's Strategic Objectives, most notably the drive to become a Greener, Wealthier and Fairer, Safer and Stronger and Healthier Scotland".

The impact on tourism is clear with the report showing that 85% of tourists and residents would not visit a beach with more than two items of litter per metre.

These findings stress the importance of stewardship of oceans and beaches, and highlight the fiscal impact such environmental disasters can have on industry. Ocean plastic pollution not only affects the varied ecosystems of the Scottish coasts, but also impacts negatively on tourism, an important source of revenue and jobs for Scotland. To learn more about the impacts of plastic pollution on Scotland's maritime industry, and the measures being considered to combat the problem, please see the full article on the Herald Scotland.

Image via CircleFace on Flickr.

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