SUNSEEKERS have been urged to ‘have some respect’ after swathes of litter were dumped at popular hotspots over the bank holiday weekend.
A heatwave brought scores of residents and day-trippers to the coast on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Southsea and Hayling Island were busy, but the party atmosphere came at a price – with a tide of rubbish left strewn across fields and beaches after people made their way home.
In Southsea, plastic and glass bottles, chip trays, barbecues and beer crates were left to fester on the Common and the seafront – just weeks after drone footage showed the shocking scale of littering in the area.
David Jones, who heads marine conservation body Just One Ocean, was roaming the zone as the weekend crowds died down. The 56-year-old diver said: ‘What I saw was disappointing and disgusting.
‘I understand people want to get out, have a barbecue and enjoy the sun but there is no reason to leave this rubbish behind.
‘If you bring it out with you, just bin it or take it back.
‘We are so lucky to have such a wonderful beach and common area – I would urge people to have some respect for it.’
Mr Jones, who lives in Southsea, was a contributor to the 2016 documentary A Plastic Ocean – which featured David Attenborough and followed the story of a journalist who discovered the extent of pollution in the sea as he searched for blue whales.
While acknowledging the ‘brilliant’ efforts of local clean-up groups and Portsmouth City Council and Colas in tackling the litter trail left behind by revellers, he said more people ‘need to be aware of the impact they are having’.
‘Work by a number of organisations has raised the profile of plastic pollution, but there is obviously still a large number of people who do not care,’ he said.
‘I truly believe this is a problem we can resolve, but we have to put our minds to it.’
Elsewhere, on Hayling Island, images taken on Monday showed piles of rubbish stacked alongside overflowing bins at the seafront, close to the West Beach car park.
The resident who spotted the mess quickly took to social media to share what they had seen.
Wishing to remain anonymous, they said: ‘It was unhygienic and disgusting. People had put all sorts in the bins, including food waste and dog mess, and it was really starting to smell.
‘I do think we need more bins down there, but it is clear some people just do not care about where they put their rubbish.
‘If the bins are overflowing like that it should just be taken home.
‘If there is one positive in this, it’s that the rubbish was not just left all over the beach.’
While the bins had not been emptied as of this morning, Havant Borough Council said its Norse teams are currently working to ‘clear the waste’.
The authority said on Twitter: ‘Following the hottest Early May Bank Holiday on record, our bin collection schedule is unfortunately struggling. Crews are working across the affected areas to clear the waste as soon as possible.’The two incidents came just a fortnight after stacks of litter were left in Southsea, captured in drone footage from resident Nigel Willis.
Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, called the rubbish ‘completely unacceptable’ and said the images made it clear Portsmouth residents had to ‘step up and pick up’.
He said: ‘Part of our responsibility as citizens involves keeping our public spaces and environment safe and clean for fellow residents and wildlife.
‘I’ve been out on beach cleans myself and am shocked by the sheer volume of plastics and litter that can be found on our shores and in our parks.
‘Last night I was down on Southsea Common and saw the mess left firsthand. It’s completely unacceptable.
‘Changing behaviour is key, but there is also much more to do to tackle the root causes such as the prevalence of single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging.
‘The government must act sooner rather than later to limit these and legislate to protect our environment.’