MORE than 70 people turned up to a beach clean in Hayling Island as part of a new initiative to tackle plastic waste.
The Final Straw Emsworth group hosted a beach clean on the Hayling Billy Trail on Sunday, February 18.
Expecting 30 people to arrive, organisers say they were stunned to see 75 people arrive at the meeting point.
Event organiser Bianca Carr said: ‘We could never have imagined how many full bags we had to arrange around one lone bin on the beach.
‘We had collected – between 75 fantastic people – 35 full bags of rubbish of all shapes and sizes off the beach.
‘We had crisp packets, drinks bottles and hundreds of sweet wrappers and packaging.
‘One family helping out counted that they had collected up over 60 plastic cotton bud sticks in an area of five square metres.’
But Bianca says that the real beach killer at the moment is micro-plastics – small beads that can poison plants and animals alike.
She said: ‘The main bulk of the work that all of our volunteers did was back breaking – down on hands and knees and sifting through the seaweed and sand for micro-plastics.
‘If you looked across the sand you could see reds, blues, greens and pinks all interrupting the natural beautiful colours that you should see on a beach.
‘These are the microplastics that are killing our wildlife and polluting our oceans.
‘Bags were filled with these and it took so much determination from all of us to collect as much as we could.
‘We didn’t get it all – we needed hours more but did our best and that’s all we could ask for.’
The News is looking to promote everyone taking the fight to plastics across the region through The Last Straw campaign.
Any people or businesses doing something can email firstname.lastname@example.org.