Pants found by astronaut Tim Peake on a Sussex beach

A PAIR of knickers unearthed by Tim Peake has made the top ten list of weirdest items found washed up on the UK’s beaches in 2020.

The astronaut found the lacy pink undies during a litter pick in his home town of Chichester in September.

Taking to social media to share the surprising discovery, Peake wrote: “Skinny dipping anyone? What do you like to do on the beach?

“Whatever it is, please remember to take your underwear with you when you leave.

“These saucy smalls and an old fishing rod were just some of the things found on our #greatbritishbeachclean at the weekend.”

The litter pick was one of hundreds of beach cleans run by the Marine Conservation Society this year.

A glitterball and a plastic Christmas tree were among the festive debris to make the top ten, along with a plastic Olaf figure from the Disney film Frozen and Christmas baubles.

Volunteers for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) found a double mattress, a wig and a single wedding shoe.

The Argus: Tim Peake made the discovery in Chichester, West Sussex.Tim Peake made the discovery in Chichester, West Sussex.

Crisp packets, cigarettes, sweet wrappers and drinks bottles are among the most commonly littered items around the world.

In June, a 24-year-old crisp packet washed up on Brighton beach, serving as a stark reminder of the millions tonnes of rubbish that end up in the ocean each year and how long it can stick around.

The pandemic is now also taking its toll on our marine environment, with MCS volunteers finding disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves on 30 per cent of beaches.

Seventy per cent of MCS’s inland litter picks found PPE items, meaning it is just a matter of time before they enter the ocean.

The Argus: A 24-year-old crisp packet was discovered on Brighton beach in June.A 24-year-old crisp packet was discovered on Brighton beach in June.

The plastic items can be ingested by wildlife or they can become entangled in the straps. The items take decades to break down.

The thousands of volunteers who take part in Beachwatch litter picks record what they find, and use the data to inform MCS’s campaigns.

It has been supported by funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, receiving £2.65 million in grants since 2018.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I was shocked to learn about the vast assortment and sizes of the items that have been washed up on our beaches.

“It is a reminder that we need to do more to protect our seas.”

The Argus | Brighton and Hove news