Truckful of rubbish stopped from entering seas as volunteers take part in Cleaner Coastlines beach clean
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:35 04 January 2018
More than 100 people cleaned Weston-super-Mare's beach this weekend and in the process secured a milestone in the town's campaign for plastic-free coastline status.
The Mercury launched its Cleaner Coastlines campaign in conjunction with Weston Chamber of Commerce and North Somerset Council in October to reduce the use of single-use plastics which often end up in the sea.
These objects, such as plastic straws and cutlery, do not degrade, but break down into smaller and smaller pieces, and can be eaten by fish and other marine life.
To achieve plastic-free coastline status from Surfers Against Sewage, five objectives must be completed – and 100 hardy volunteers helped to achieve one of those key targets at the weekend.
As the campaign has support from Weston Town Council and a steering group met to discuss the next steps, Weston has completed three of the five objectives.
Debbie Apted, the chamber’s secretary and who organised the beach clean, said: “Another fantastic turnout of more than 100 with a truckful of rubbish prevented from entering the seas.”
Plastic bottles, bottle tops and straws were among the most common finds, while, somewhat more unusually, a bikini, underwear and sunglasses were also collected.
People also found a huge number of cotton buds sticks, which are wrongly flushed down the toilet and end up on beaches.
Debbie said: “The next stage of our campaign will aim to get the support of 30 per cent of schools in the area, 50 per cent of public spaces as well as the college.
“The fifth and final objective is at least 30 businesses remove three items or more single-use plastics from their venues.”
A beach clean run by the Marine Conservation Society will take place at Sand Bay on January 14 from 10am to noon and people can register at www.mcsuk.org
In the coming weeks, the Mercury will be highlighting businesses which make changes for the campaign. To let us know what you have been doing, email email@example.com
You can, share your pictures and news about how you are helping our campaign by searching for Cleaner Coastlines: Weston and North Somerset plastic-free campaign on Facebook.