A small army of volunteers took to the beaches of Waveney to battle against the scourge of coastal rubbish.

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The Beachwatch Big Weekend – the biggest annual clear-up organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) – ran from Friday until yesterday as litter pickers cleaned up and recorded the rubbish they found.

The data collected will help MCS shape its beach litter campaigns and keep up pressure on the government to take action to reduce the amount of rubbish that blights our beaches, and protect wildlife.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust linked up with the organisers of the fifth annual event at Pakefield beach yesterday.

Alison Reeve, voluntary co-ordinator, said that 26 volunteers covered the stretch of south Lowestoft beach and collected 11 bags of rubbish equating to 55kg of litter.

She added: “I am amazed at how much was collected – with the common theme being 168 aluminium cans, 99 plastic drinks bottles and 42 glass bottles that were recovered.”

Beachwatch events also took place at Kessingland and north Lowestoft. In “beautiful weather” on Saturday, a team of eight volunteers collected six bags of rubbish containing 46kg of litter at Kessingland. Meanwhile, eight volunteers helped clear more than 1,000 items of rubbish away from Lowestoft’s north beach.

The volunteers collected and recorded every item of litter along a 100m stretch of the north beach. A total of 1,052 items, weighing 5.5kg, was recorded with the most commonly found pieces of rubbish being bits of plastic and polythene bags.

The volunteers also found many bits of fishing lines, which are potentially lethal to marine wildlife, cigarette packets and stubs, and wet wipes.

Leading the team, Victoria Nicholls, from Lowestoft, said: “Beach litter isn’t just unsightly, it can also be really dangerous to both humans and wildlife.”

She said that a clear-up in the area to the north of the section that was surveyed also revealed beer cans and a supermarket shopping trolley, but one of the worst items visible was dog mess, which was either ignored or had been tied up in bags and left in clumps of marram grass.

This was also a similar problem in south Lowestoft, with the volunteers recovering “an increasing” amount of dog mess.

4 comments

  • well done the volunteers. Picking rubbish from those who swear they love their country, as one does regularly as it keeps being thrown out of cars, boats, out of everything that moves, is a regular pastime. Bill Bryson, bless, has failed in his bid to re-educate society, maybe its a love hate relationship with the land, with hate being dominant? who knows... ballons are as polluting as fireworks, useless car journeys, houses made from bricks, etc.etc. a wholly unsustainable society in need of change.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • I would just like to defend the vast majority of sea anglers,within our sport we are continually promoting environmentally friendly practices with regards to litter.unfortunately there are a few irresponsible anglers so please don't tar us all with the same brush as we are constantly picking up others litter when we come across it and words of advice given to those we see leaving rubbish,citing "leave only footprints".we take our hats off to those volunteers who regularly have a beach clean,as there is no excuse for litter anywhere. Many thanks, A.Cran (easternanglers)

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    andy cran

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • There are always a few yobs who can't clear up the mess they leave,well done to the volunteers. Well done too the noisy motorised contraption that trundles round and round at five oclock on a sunday morning rearranging all the litter round the dock and bridge.It saves me having to set the alarm and of course at that time in the morning it wont disturb any visitors (then again what ever time it goes round there aren't many to disturb unless they've got lost).

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    kevin bacon

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • The remains of helium balloons from parties and from charity releases are a scourge too. Mass balloon releases should be banned.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, September 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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