A GROUP of young children took to the shoreline to give Southsea a tidy-up, as part of the ongoing battle against plastic waste.
Five-year-old Ava Williams, from Denmead, and her friends from school headed down to the seafront yesterday morning for a beach clean.
Ava was inspired by a television programme she watched with her mum, Charlotte, about plastic waste and its impact on the environment.
After arranging for her friends and their parents to come down, Ava and Charlotte managed to get more than a dozen youngsters down to the seafront, who collected all manner of waste along their journey.
Ava said: ‘I found lots of sweet wrappers, some cardboard and even some pizza boxes – I can’t remember everything though because there was lots.
‘I liked doing it with all of my friends, it was really fun.
‘We picked up lots of rubbish and it was good – I want to do it again.’
The News is running the Final Straw campaign with Final Straw Solent to encourage individuals and businesses to reduce plastic waste.
Charlotte, Ava’s mother, says that her and the other parents are incredibly proud of the children for doing so well.
She said: ‘The beach clean was absolutely fantastic – there was a good number of children who then also brought their families along.
‘The group went from South Parade Pier to about halfway down towards Eastney and they did such a great job.
‘There was a lot of rubbish down towards the shoreline and the children were really proud to have cleaned it up – they knew that they had stopped stuff from going back into the ocean and were very happy about that.
‘All of them seemed to understand why they were doing it and they all got really involved with it.
‘They picked up a lot of random stuff as well – and came to us if they found things like needles or glass.’
Charlotte says that the group, which all came from Denmead Infant School, was shocked by how much rubbish they managed to collect.
She said: ‘The amount of waste that showed up was just unbelievable – we filled a lot of rubbish bags.
‘Southsea Beach Cafe also let us put our rubbish in their big bin too, which was really nice of them.’
After a successful first outing, the group could now been doing more to clean up the environment, with plans in motion to do something a little bit closer to home.
Charlotte said: ‘It felt good knowing that this rubbish won’t be going into the ocean.
‘There’s still a lot of rubbish out there and some that collects in places around Denmead, so we could be doing something like this again very soon.’