Portsmouth is leading the wayÂ in campaign to reduce plastic pollution
THEÂ UNIVERSITYÂ of Portsmouth and the city's community are leading the way in the fight against marine pollution from plastics.Â
Underwater photographer and universityÂ scientistÂ David JonesÂ Â has launched an initiative to encourage holidaymakers and community organisations to combine their summer holidays with '˜a spot of scientific research'.
The '˜Big MicroplasticÂ Survey' is encouraging beach goers to collect as many pieces of plastic as possible to provide data forÂ research.
Mr Jones said: '˜It is a great way for people who love the beach and care for the environment to get involved inÂ scientific research which can make contributions to environmental policy.'
One group doing their bit is the Southsea branch of the Marine Conservation Society.Â OrganiserÂ Jane Di DinoÂ runs monthly beach cleansÂ in Southsea and Eastney.Â Â
'˜We carry out a survey every year and the latest showed 52 per Â cent of litter left by people wasÂ Â plastics including cutlery, straws and wrappers,' said Mrs Di Dino.
As temperatures have soared the problem of beach litter has increased. In May the group collected 35kg of rubbish which had almost doubled to 63kg in the recent July beach clean.
'˜One of the main problems for wildlife such as seabirds and seals is entanglement,' added Mrs Di Dino.
In addition to plastics being collected, one of the greatestÂ concerns for Mrs Di Dino and Mr Jones areÂ the microplastics which aren't alwaysÂ visible.
Mr Jones said: '˜One of the biggest global issues is microplastics in our oceans which are getting into marine food chains and potentiallyÂ affecting human health.'
A UN report has revealed that 99 per cent of seabirds have Â ingested Â plastic and by 2050 there will be more plastics in our oceans than fish.
'˜Fish ingestingÂ the plasticsÂ are then consumed by other marine life such as seals and eventually people,' added Mrs Di Dino.Â
The News is running the Final Straw campaign with Final Straw Solent to encourage businesses and individuals to cut back on single-use plastic.Â The next Southsea beach clean is on August 4. To take partÂ meetÂ at Rocksbys restaurant for a 10am start.Â Â