Beach cleaners collect almost 1,000kg of waste from Southsea seafront
VOLUNTEERS who have been fighting the onslaught of plastic waste along Portsmouth’s beaches have collected just shy of 1,000kg this year.
Over the course of 11 beach cleans this year, volunteers from Southsea Beachwatch collected 954kg of litter.
While cigarette butts and food wrappers were found most often along the seafront, people also found a hanging basket, a message in a jam jar and even a treasure chest full of chocolate coins on their adventures.
Organisers say that although the amount of waste collected shows the strength of Portsmouth’s passion for the environment, it also highlights the never-ending battle to keep our shorelines clean.
Jane di Dino from Southsea Beachwatch said: ‘I'm really inspired by all the people who come to clean the beach and their enthusiasm. It's great to see how much they care.
‘Beach cleaning for me is such a lovely way of volunteering; it's simple and it makes a difference straight away.
‘Every piece of litter is a potential risk to wildlife on land and at sea so picking it up means you're protecting wildlife.’
Throughout the year, the volunteers have been joined by schools, sea cadets and organisations from the Portsmouth area such as Bird Aware Solent.
Toys and clothes have also been found along the seafront, as well as a frequent scattering of fishing hooks.
The most litter was collected in Southsea during January (163kg) and February (143.5kg).
Jane says the attitudes to waste in Portsmouth have certainly changed over the past couple of years, and believes a lot of the rubbish found on the seafront isn’t necessarily left by careless residents.
‘The waste comes from a variety of places,’ she said.
‘It’s not just people leaving stuff behind – a lot of it can be washed up with the tide, either from ship discharges, fishing vessels throwing rubbish overboard and so on.
‘So many more people here in the city care about the environment now; we have regular volunteers who come every month and it’s been great to build up such a firm friendship with them.’
The first beach clean of 2020 will take place on January 4.