Visitors to the North West coast are being asked to play their part in keeping beaches clean and safe by taking their litter home when they visit.
The easing of lockdown and hot weather in recent weeks has brought hundreds of visitors to the North West coast. The result has been disastrous for beaches as many people have left their rubbish instead of taking it home.
With school holidays just around the corner and more families planning on taking staycations, the Turning Tides Partnership is calling on the public to act responsibly when visiting the coast by using the bins provided and by taking a bag to the beach so that they can take their litter home.
The Turning Tides Partnership is a consortium of organisations along the coast stretching from Southport to Allerdale, including the Environment Agency, United Utilities and Keep Britain Tidy and all of the coastal authorities working together to improve local bathing waters and beaches.
Neil Jack, chief executive of Blackpool Council and chair of the Turning Tides Partnership Board, said: “It has been extraordinary to see the number of people who have flocked to the coast as restrictions have eased – but it has come at a price.
“During the lockdown period, we had all witnessed the beauty of spotlessly clean beaches and sparkling blue water along our seashores. To see that undone by irresponsible disposal of litter is unacceptable.
“While we hugely appreciate the efforts of the many volunteers who have turned out to remove this litter, the responsibility lies with those who use our beaches. The message is simple – dispose of it in one of the many bins available, or take it home with you.”
Turning Tides also asks that the public refrain from leaving rubbish by full bins as this is also considered littering and people can be fined. Also, it requests that people leave disposable barbeques at home. If they are left on the beach, they can cause harm to people and wildlife, and cause fires if left in the dunes.
The impact of the litter epidemic has been felt along the entire North West coastline and will have a seriously detrimental effect on the local environment, wildlife and economy.
The New Brighteners, a beach cleaning and environmental volunteer group based in New Brighton, Wirral, have been overwhelmed with the amount of rubbish on beaches, promenades and adjacent green spaces over the last few weeks since lockdown eased.
A regular volunteer for the group said: “In 7 years we have never seen the amount of rubbish left by visitors that we’ve seen in the last few weeks: takeaway packaging, plastic bottles, food wrapping, NO2 cartridges, portable BBQs, nappies, hand wipes, face masks, dog waste, used rubber gloves, plastic bags, soiled clothing, drinks cans, tents, bedding, supermarket shopping trolleys in our lake, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
For more information on keeping beaches safe and beautiful, please visit www.keepbritaintidy.org.