Record levels of rubbish on our beaches

MORE than 3,160 kilograms of rubbish was collected from Suffolk's beaches last year, a report has found.

Simon Tomlinson

MORE than 3,160 kilograms of rubbish was collected from Suffolk's beaches last year, a report has found.

The astonishing amount of litter was removed by 847 volunteers as part of the Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) Beachwatch and Adopt-A-Beach schemes.

The record total has been published in a report by the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit and MCS, which has collated information from 62 surveys carried out on 37 beaches during the year.

It also shows that the volunteers collected more than 75,000 pieces of litter - an equivalent of 1,312 items for every kilometre of Suffolk's coastline.

Nick Collinson, manager of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB Unit, which co-ordinates the schemes in Suffolk, said: “It's clear that most of the rubbish is left by beach visitors and our message is a simple one - 'Don't be a tosser, take your litter home with you!'”

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“The results reveal the sheer scale of the litter problem on our beaches as well as highlighting the outstanding commitment of the volunteers carrying out the clean-up work.

“As a further measure to tackle these issues we will be launching our new Volunteer Coastal Warden Scheme this summer to encourage responsible behaviour on our coast.”

Copies of the Suffolk Beachwatch and Adopt-A-Beach report are available from the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit. For more information, visit www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org.

If you would like to participate in Beachwatch or Adopt-a-Beach, please call Steve Hunt on 01394 384948.

The Beachwatch 2008 Final Report is available from the Marine Conservation Society at www.adoptabeach.org.uk/pages/beachwatch.php.