Published: 20:00, 04 December 2017
Kent's coastline has been revealed as one of the dirtiest in the country.
Research from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) revealed 339.5kg of waste was picked up across nearly 2,500 metres of the county's coastline.
A 200m clean up of Denge Marsh on the south Kent coast turned up 30kg worth of waste, 10kg more than all of Northumberland's collected waste.
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MCS’ chief executive officer, Sandy Luk, said: “Our beach clean evidence shows a shocking rise in the amount of litter this year.
"Our oceans are choking in plastic. We urgently need a levy on single use plastic as a first step.”
The new research has shamed the south east as having the highest litter density in the UK.
Suffolk was the country's highest scoring county, where 449.7kg was collected, while Durham and the Scottish Highlands were second and third highest.
Kent ranked fourth in the country, above the likes of East Sussex and Essex, which saw 318kg and 114kg collected respectively.
Following the announcement, MCS has called for greater charges on single-use plastic items.
Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and river clean project officer, explained: "The 5p single-use carrier bag charge has made a massive difference to the number of plastic bags entering our seas.
"If a levy was placed on single use plastic such as straws, stirrers, cutlery, cups and cup lids, we're confident that we'd find fewer of these items on our beaches.”
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