Thousands of plastic bodyboards wash up on Britain's beaches every year

Telegraph Reporters
During just one day environmental organisation BeachCare collected more than 600 alone on Cornish beaches - SWNS - Bristol +44 (0)1179066550

Keep Britain Tidy has launched a campaign against plastic bodyboards after figures reveal 16,000 are found in the sea around Britain every year.

The eco-campaigners have warned about the danger of plastic pollution caused by the boards that are mainly shipped in from China and sell for as little as £5.

They break up easily and are so cheap they are viewed as disposable, often left on beaches to be washed into the sea.

But they are made from a block of polystyrene wrapped in plastic cloth, and are often transported thousands of miles across the world.

During just one day environmental organisation BeachCare collected more than 600 alone on Cornish beaches.

Neil Hembrow, from Keep Britain Tidy, who has been working to raise awareness of the harm caused by the "single-use" plastic boards, said it was time action was taken.

He said: "A lot of them are used for surfing down the sand dunes. They are left by the bins or left on the beach.

"We estimate that there are thousands and thousands of them distributed in Cornwall and Devon each year.

"These cheap boards have been put in a cargo ship and sent across the world to be basically buried or burnt after five minutes use.

"Some of the ones we found were still in their shrink wrap.

"We want to send a message to consumers to rent or buy something decent. Surf shops should make it as cheap as possible to rent these boards.

"The consumers we spoke to weren't aware of the scale of the problem. Once they saw 600 boards piled up on the beach people were shocked.

"We are not here to spoil people's fun when they come down to the south west.

"We want them to make a choice that is good for them, good for the sea and good for the environment."