Five pieces of litter for every step you take on Northern Ireland beaches

You can count on average five pieces of marine litter every step you take on Northern Ireland beaches – that’s according to a shocking new report by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Northern Ireland beaches

The Consequences of Waste Plastic often ends up being consumed by coastal animals

The newly released report of litter on Northern Ireland beaches by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful summarises key findings from quarterly litter surveys taken on 10 beaches around Northern Ireland over a four-year period. The findings show that on average of 528 items of litter were observed per 100m of beach around Northern Ireland.




From September 2012 to October 2016 over 2000 volunteers took part and surveyed beaches from Runkerry Strand in the North West to Rostrevor in the South East covering a total of 56 km. Over the course of the four years they counted and removed 4,187 bags of rubbish.

Northern Ireland beaches

Litter in numbers An average 528 items of litter was found per 100 metres of beach examined

The numbers are pretty shocking and this problem is replicated on beaches all around Ireland. Rubbish from over flowing bins, microbeads in our care products, litter dropped on the beach, items flushed down the toilet all ends up on our beaches and seas. This litter has a terrible impact on marine life, it contaminates fish and shellfish and damages boats.    

You can read the full report here.

Coast Monkey’s view: It’s up to all of us to change our habitats and protect our beaches for the future.

About the Author

Ann Robinson

Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22