Researchers say efforts to curb plastic litter in oceans in Europe are working

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  • According to researchers, the number of plastic bags found in the seas in Britain has significantly dropped since 2010
  • The percentage of trawls by fishermen catching at least one plastic bag in the greater North Sea have decreased

According to researchers, the number of plastic bags found in the seas in Britain has significantly dropped since 2010 as European governments crack down on their use.

The scientists in Britain and the Netherlands said the percentage of trawls by fishermen catching at least one plastic bag in the greater North Sea, off Britain’s east coast, have decreased more than half at 16 percent since 2010.

Prior to 2010, the average was 40 percent, based on the study which was conducted for 25 years.

European countries like Ireland, Denmark, France and Britain, have started plastic bag levies on 2003, in which massive reductions of plastic bag use have occurred.

“The action of all these nations … meant there are less bags being distributed, less bags … escaping into the marine environment,” Thomas Maes, co-author of the study, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“If we think a bit more wisely about plastic, especially the single use items we use in our daily life, we can make big changes,” said the marine scientist at Britain’s governmental Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

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