These devastating photos show the stark future of the UK’s beautiful coastlines — if we continue to irresponsibly dump litter.
Shots show the beaches in their current glory of blue seas and golden sands, but artists have reimagined them to highlight the serious impact litter could have on the landscape.
Brighton’s iconic pier is overshadowed by mounds of coffee cups, crisp packets, cans and carrier bags — the usual rubbish commonly left behind on beaches.
Similarly, the lush green verge on Cornwall’s Constantine Bay is almost lost from view due to a huge pile of rubbish.
The clear, blue sea of Portwrinkle Beach is less appealing when plastic bottles and food wrappers take over the shore.
The manipulated yet shockingly realistic images come after a study of 2,000 adults found four in 10 admitted leaving rubbish behind while on the coast.
And more than half think they will carry on this bad habit.
A spokesperson for Korev lager, which commissioned the research, said: ‘Britain has some stunning beaches, but they may not stay this way if we don’t look after them.
‘Everyone will remember at time they’ve been at the seaside and had their experience spoiled by litter.
‘It’s worrying to see how much rubbish people leave behind, often with the expectation that others will take it home.’
The research found a third blame it on not being close enough to any bins — but 34% put it down to not having a bag with them to take the rubbish home.
The average Brit visits a beach eight times a year, with half taking a picnic.
Plastic packaging is present in four items in each picnic, yet 39% admit they don’t always take everything away afterwards.
More than one in 10 (11%) have left an old BBQ at the beach, while the same number have ditched a broken toy or a bucket and spade.
A further 14% have thrown cigarette butts on the sand and 12% have discarded plastic bottles.
While 49% of those polled, via OnePoll, feel ‘guilty’ about their littering, 25% reckon it’s ‘fine’ — because someone else will pick it up.
Korev’s spokesperson added: ‘Although a huge proportion of the UK are responsible and help to keep our beaches clean, by leaving no trace, we were shocked to see so many Brits are happy to admit to littering.
‘The research shows just how important our artwork is in terms of raising awareness and protecting our incredible coastline.’
Korev has partnered with the Marine Conservation Society, whose spokesperson Richard Roberts said: ‘Last year, our volunteers collected a staggering 3.1 tonnes of rubbish.
‘We also discovered discarded face masks and PPE on 30% of our beach cleans.
‘We hope this research plays a part in helping people to see that collectively we have a huge impact on our environment.
‘By working together we can ensure that our coastlines are protected for both future generations and our local wildlife.’
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