AN INTERNATIONALLY recognised beauty expert joined volunteers for a litter pick on a wet and windy beach yesterday.

Liz Earle, whose brand of natural skincare and beauty products descends from the Isle of Wight, grabbed a litter picker to join the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean on the final day of a weekend-long campaign by the charity.

The aim was to gather as many discarded plastic drinks bottles, carrier bags and other litter as possible, which had washed up on the beach, blown onto the sand or had been dropped and left behind.

It was supported by water filter firm, BRITA, as a way to make members of the public stop and think about the amount of litter being left in the area and on beaches across the UK.

An estimated 7.7billion single-use plastic bottles are used every year, according to research by OnePoll on behalf of BRITA.

Liz Earle said: “I love the coast and my family beach walks often turn into litter picks, so it means a lot to me to be joining the Great British Beach Clean supported by BRITA, so close to where I live.

“The increasing amount of pollution in the UK, particularly from single-use plastic water bottles, is a major concern. Asking people to reduce their plastic use, while considering sustainable alternatives is key if we are to protect the environment for future generations.”

The Great British Beach Clean, which ran from September 16 to 19, is the only UK-wide beach clean that not only spruces up hundreds of beaches around the coast, but also records the litter as part of a global beach clean count.

Lauren Eyles, MCS Beachwatch Manager, said that the amount of beach litter has steadily risen over the past 20 years, with a ‘shocking’ 34-per-cent rise between 2014 and 2015. “Plastic drinks bottles increased by over 43-per-cent and metal drinks cans by almost 29-per-cent. In fact, we saw some of the highest litter levels ever last year with 3,298 items picked up per kilometre that we surveyed.”

Rebecca Widdowson, director of marketing at BRITA UK, said that they were pleased to support the MCS’s campaign. She added: “Drinking tap water instead of bottled water is one simple way to help reduce plastic pollution. We know some people don’t enjoy drinking tap water, but by using a filter to reduce impurities and improve the taste and smell you can make a small change in drinking habits which could have a significant impact on the environment.”

Back in July, Bournemouth resident, Anya Levkouskis, recorded footage of masses of litter left on the sand in Bournemouth Beach

In response, Ali Cattaneo, a volunteer regional rep for Surfers against Sewage, said that the beach was turning into ‘one giant ashtray.’ Items found dumped by Ali had included glass bottles, inflatable swimming rings, plastic food packaging and disposable barbecues.