Resource Use

Calls for public to protect beaches as lockdown ends

The Turning Tides Partnership and Keep Britain Tidy project LOVEmyBEACH are asking local residents and visitors to protect the coastline and prevent littering on beaches as Covid-19 restrictions begin to be lifted across England.

Can on beachToday (29 March) marks the end of the UK Government’s stay-at-home order, with two households or groups of up to six people now allowed to meet outside.

Environmental groups are concerned that this could lead to an influx of litter around coastlines, following scenes of rubbish being littered across the North West’s beaches after restrictions were eased after the first lockdown last May.

With Easter weekend approaching, The Turning Tides Partnership and LOVEmyBEACH are asking visitors to England’s beaches to ‘be a good egg’ and make sure they take all litter home.

The environmental groups are asking people to take a bag to the beach to collect all rubbish in and then dispose of it in a bin or take it home and not leave it next to a full bin.

They are also advising visitors to not have BBQs on the beach, as they can cause fires and harm ecosystems and wildlife.

Zephie Begolo, Campaign Manager for LOVEmyBEACH, commented: "More people than ever came to the coast last year, but this also meant more litter.

“This not only makes the beach less appealing and safe for visitors, but it also causes harm to the delicate ecosystems along the coast and the wildlife that inhabit them. People can take simple steps to help prevent this environmental damage."

Estimates suggest that plastic waste alone kills over a million seabirds every year, along with 100,000 sea mammals, turtles and fish every year, with the majority of this waste coming from inland.

Keep Britain Tidy Deputy CEO Richard McIlwain said: "Running parallel to the pandemic, we also witnessed another epidemic last year - that of littering in green and blue spaces.

“30 million tonnes of litter is dropped in the UK every year, with some 70% of litter that ends up in the ocean coming from inland.

“It is critical that people take the steps we recommend to protect our beautiful coastline and wildlife as well as protecting the beaches so that everyone can enjoy them for generations to come."