Wasteful British holidaymakers purposely leave 125 million items they no longer need in destinations every year, new research claims.

More than half of the items – 76 million – are plastic that others will need to dispose of.

More than half (53%) of people admit to leave things behind on holiday because they cannot be bothered to take them home, according to the poll of 1,007 adults.

Unfinished toothpaste (15m), deodorant bottles (13m), sun tan lotion (13m) and pool inflatables (12m) are the items most commonly left in resort.

The increased prevalence of travelling with hand luggage-only – under the rules of which passengers are not allowed to take any liquids over 100ml – may also be having an impact, according to search engine Kayak.co.uk which carried out the study.

Instead of buying often costly ‘travel-sized’ toiletries, travellers are instead buying them on holiday and leaving them behind when the holiday has finished.

Books are left behind most on holiday, with a quarter discarding at least one volume each time they go away, while 3% admit to leaving five or more behind on each trip.

Other items commonly dumped are unfinished drink bottles (13%), clothes (11%), moisturiser (8%) and make up (2%).

Kayak Europe managing director John-Lee Saez said: “We often return from holiday with fewer items than we went with – either by accident or because we simply don’t think we’ll need them again.

“Whilst some items, such as books, may be used and appreciated, others – such as large, plastic pool inflatables or half-finished plastic bottles – are simply waste.”