Let's Talk Rubbish - beach clean organised

DUCKS choking on plastic ties are a sorry sight - but scenes such as this are avoidable if residents stop dropping litter.

DUCKS choking on plastic ties are a sorry sight - but scenes such as this are avoidable if residents stop dropping litter.

Let's Talk Rubbish, a joint campaign by the Weston & Somerset Mercury and North Somerset Council, is this week highlighting the effect litter has on wildlife - and what you can do about it.

Let's Talk Rubbish, launched last week, is a month-long campaign which aims to help rid our parks, beaches and beauty spots of cigarette butts, crisp packets and other unsightly waste to make the district a cleaner place to live.

The bird pictured was spotted by park wardens with a piece of plastic through his beak and around his neck. It is thought that the object is usually used to secure tops on plastic bottles.


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RSPCA animal collection officer Jane Folly said: "Luckily the duck was fairly easy to catch and was unhurt as he seemed to have become entangled quite recently.

"However, it could have been much worse - litter can be dangerous and even fatal to wildlife."

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Tin cans discarded in the streets have a deadly impact upon hedgehogs, which crawl inside to get at any remaining food and can then become stuck.

She said: "Rainwater can collect in the cans which means some hedgehogs can drown. There is also a danger of starvation and dehydration if the animals cannot remove the cans from their faces."

From next Monday area officers, rangers and specially trained environmental health staff will hand out £75 fines to people caught littering the six hotspots.

They will be backed by police community support officers who can compel litterbugs to reveal their personal details once they have been caught.

Next week, Mercury reporter Mark Mistry will go on patrol with an enforcement officer to see how residents react when faced with a whopping £75 fine.

FACTBOX:

A MASS clear up of Weston's beach has been arranged on March 1.

The beach clean, which will take place in conjunction with the University of the West of England and Bath University, will begin at 10.30am. So put it in your diaries now.

Mercury reporters, councillors and their staff will all be there on the day to lend a hand.

FACT BOX

Plastic can holders can choke - cut them into pieces.

Fishing line can strangle - take it home and cut it up.

Plastic bags can suffocate - tie a knot in them and dispose of them properly.

Hooks and line can gouge - take fishing hooks home.

Broken bottles can cut - take all glass to a bottle bank.

Balloons can kill if eaten - avoid balloon releases and cut up used balloons.

Tin cans can trap - take the lids off, put them inside and pinch the opening shut.

FACTBOX

The hotspots include:

> Weston's beach and Sand Bay

> High Street, Weston

> Grove and Ashcombe Parks

> Clevedon Seafront and Salthouse Fields

> The Lake Grounds, Portishead

> Millennium Park, Nailsea

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