Litter volunteers find syringes washed up on Lee-on-the-Solent beach

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VOLUNTEER litter-pickers are warning beach users to be careful after finding syringes washed up on the seafront.

Members of Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction have been carrying out regular clean-ups of the town’s beach.

A recent litter-picking day revealed a number of needles lying among the pebbles.

Now the volunteers want to warn people to be careful when out enjoying the sun on the seafront.

They are also calling on syringe-users to dispose of their needles safely.

According to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the needles could be from medical users who flush them down the toilet after use.

Graham Smith, of Elmore Road in Lee-on-the-Solent, organises litter-picking sessions around the town.

He found two syringes while on a clean-up of the town’s beach last week.

The 54-year-old said: ‘The message to get across is take your rubbish off the beach and don’t use your toilet as a bin as it lands up in the sea, harming wildlife and spoiling our beaches.

‘This is obviously dangerous to children playing barefoot on the beach as well as being unhealthy.

‘They can be quite difficult to spot and I was surprised to find it.

‘Others have found them as well.

‘They haven’t necessarily come from drug users or anything like that.

‘They could have come from people using them in their homes for legitimate medical reasons and then flushing them down the toilet.

‘We need to make people aware that they shouldn’t flush items down toilets at home as the items can end up littering the sea and beach.’

Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction holds regular litter-picking days to help clean up the area.

The group is also planning to organise a massive clean-up of the Gosport area on the day the Olympic torch comes through the town.

Dr Sue Kinsey, the litter policy officer at the MCS, said people should notify the council if they find syringes on the seafront.

The MCS is a charity which works to protect seafronts around the country.

Dr Kinsey said: ‘Syringes come from a variety of sources, either from being flushed down the toilet or used on or near the beach by recreational drug users.

‘The MCS urges all people to dispose of syringes properly as they pose a health risk to anyone picking them up or accidentally standing on them.

‘Only ever pick them up on an organised clean-up if you have a sharps box and protective gloves.

‘If you happen to find a syringe whilst visiting the beach please inform the local council who will have a team who can dispose of them properly.’

The next clean-up being held by Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction is at Browndown on May 12.

Anyone who wants to help out on the day should meet at 11am in the Elmore car park on Marine Parade East.