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‘Unprecedented’ levels of litter spark weekend-long clean-up

PUBLISHED: 15:42 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:55 01 July 2020

Debbie Bartlett, left, has organised a 'litter-free long weekend' starting on Friday Picture: DEBBIE BARTLETT

Debbie Bartlett, left, has organised a 'litter-free long weekend' starting on Friday Picture: DEBBIE BARTLETT

DEBBIE BARTLETT

Litter-picking volunteers will be spending the upcoming weekend cleaning up Felixstowe after seeing “unprecedented” levels of waste in the last few weeks.

Litter-Free Felixstowe often clean the town's beach Picture: RACHEL EDGELitter-Free Felixstowe often clean the town's beach Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Litter-Free Felixstowe will be out and about in the town from Friday to Monday, amid recent reports of a surge in rubbish being dumped across Suffolk as the lockdown eases and more people leave their homes.

Environmental activist Debbie Bartlett founded the group in 2018 and has frequently organised clean-ups among volunteers to rid the town of waste.

Coronavirus lockdown restrictions have prevented the group from meeting, but they have decided to spend the weekend clearing up in smaller, socially-distant groups.

Mrs Bartlett said she has been shocked to discover the amount waste around the town in the last few weeks - with takeaway food packaging a common discovery.

She said: “I have never seen it so bad. Someone had even called it ‘feral Britain’.

“We have seen plastic wrappers and cans all over the beach recently.

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“As a group, we haven’t been able to meet up. I have been lending my equipment out and people have been cleaning up rubbish on their daily walks.
“We see it on the news every single day - it has become quite a hot topic.

“We can all do something to help. We’re hoping that people see our presence, children see what we’re doing and are inspired by it. I’m just trying to inspire younger people.

“Let’s try and look after our area.”

Council bosses have also urged visitors to the Suffolk coast to clean up after themselves ahead of a pubs, restaurants and arcades reopening on ‘Super Saturday’.

James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “East Suffolk has some of the most beautiful beaches and rural areas in the country and as some restrictions are lifted, we want our residents to be able to enjoy these areas safely.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in litter - especially from takeaway and fast food businesses.

“There is no excuse for littering. We appreciate that bins may be filling up more quickly and we are doing all we can to empty bins as often as possible. If a bin is full, please look for another or take your rubbish home.”

MORE: Childrens’ book aimed at taking care of environment released


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