Santa joins Christmas litter picking effort

Santa and head elf are ready for action Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Santa and head elf are ready for action Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Santa Claus was a special guest as an eco-friendly activist group continued their effort to rid Suffolk of litter with a festive clean up of their town.

Litter-free Felixstowe's Christmas beach clean Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Litter-free Felixstowe's Christmas beach clean Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

More than 70 volunteers from Litter-Free Felixstowe, dressed in festive outfits, met on Sunday before undertaking the task of picking up litter in the town and on the beach front.

Santa joined the clean-up effort after arriving at Felixstowe pier in a vintage car.

Organiser and founder, Debbie Bartlett, said: "People are busy time in the lead up to Christmas, but the town is really appreciative of all the volunteers' efforts. "It was lovely to see Santa litter picking on the beach."

She said his presence also helped spur on younger members of the group.

Even Henry the dog dressed up for the occassion Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Even Henry the dog dressed up for the occassion Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

"It is important that children associate caring for the environment with being on Santa's good list at Christmas."

Mrs Bartlett started Litter-Free Felixstowe in November 2018 with the intention of inspiring the next generation to take care of the environment.

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She said the waste left on the Felixstowe's beach has been one of the group's main targets, but the group have spread their efforts further afield.

"We are always amazed at how much plastic waste comes in with each tide. It is a problem across the world," she said.

Santa hands out the certificates Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Santa hands out the certificates Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

But those lcoally are also to blame for the litter issue.

"It is always distressing to see discarded bottles and cans on the floor, as it is so unnecessary as there are sufficient bins across the town," she said.

"But the amount of litter we pick up when we work together is astonishing. It's good to spend time with like-minded people who care about where they live."

Mrs Bartlett wanted to thank the volunteers for their help on Sunday, as well as Haart Estate Agents, Spa Pavillion and Felixstowe Leisure Centre for their support.

Santa arrives on the seafront in an old car with a Christmas tree Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Santa arrives on the seafront in an old car with a Christmas tree Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

She added: "It's lovely when companies support our activities."

Santa hands out the certificates Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Santa hands out the certificates Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Litter-free Felixstowe's Christmas beach clean Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Litter-free Felixstowe's Christmas beach clean Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

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