FIFTEEN beaches across the south east are flying a Blue Flag – an international award to tell the public it’s one of the best beaches in the world.
Hayling Island’s Beachlands has been awarded for the 29th year in a row alongside beaches from Brighton and Botany Bay, among others.
West Wittering also made the prestigious list of beaches.
It comes as research from Keep Britain Tidy revealed that 74 per cent of Gen Z and millennials (those under the age of 35) say they are ‘triggered’ with guilt when they go to the beach and see plastic litter.
Almost two thirds (60 per cent) experienced eco-anxiety when seeing tourist destinations littered with plastic and no sustainable facilities to dispose of it, while 78 per cent would avoid visiting a beach without a Blue Flag or Seaside Award for this reason.
As a result, the newly dubbed ‘Attenborough effect’ is contributing to cleaner public spaces, with more than half (54 per cent) of people saying the nature documentaries fronted by Sir David Attenborough have encouraged them to personally clear up discarded litter.
Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: ‘Visiting beaches with the Blue Flag or Seaside Award status means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate. Which is why we’re so pleased to announce 47 award winners.
‘We as individuals feel emotionally connected to the environment more than ever, with so many experiencing eco-anxiety. Keep Britain Tidy continues to push for more environmentally responsible beaches, where visitors needn’t feel this stress.
‘We’re incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff. From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.
‘Thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, visitors can be reassured their destination is cared for and they will be able to help maintain the high standards of these awards thanks to their environmental initiatives.’