COMMENT: Issue of litter comes down to personal responsibility

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Is it that they just don’t think, or just don’t care?

Another bank holiday weekend has ended with a tide of rubbish left behind by those who flocked to enjoy the sunshine on the beach or Southsea Common.

As crowds headed for the coast, they took with them picnics and barbecues – and then, once they’d enjoyed the hot weather and their portable feasts, the detritus was simply left behind.

There was clearly no thought given to the effect on the environment, or the fact that it left areas looking like eyesores.

In Southsea, plastic and glass bottles, chip trays, barbecues and beer crates were left where people had been partying – just a fortnight after shocking drone pictures showed masses of rubbish left on the common.

Meanwhile in Hayling Island, pictures taken by an angry resident showed piles of rubbish stacked alongside overflowing bins at the seafront.

At least the waste wasn’t strewn along the beach, but if the bins were full why didn’t visitors just bag it up and take it home?

David Jones, who leads marine conservation body Just One Ocean, saw for himself the mess left on the common. He said: ‘We are so lucky to have such a wonderful beach and common area – I would urge people to have some respect for it.’

He’s right. Would people treat their own homes and gardens the way they treat public open spaces? We doubt it. Yet they think it’s acceptable to leave their piles of litter for others to clear away.

It all comes down to personal responsibility. If we all took our waste away with us, there would be no issue.

Yet there are obviously those who continue to think that such expectations don’t apply to them.