A WHOPPING 93 bags of rubbish were collected by more than 250 people at the Great Solent Beach Clean’s Eastney event.
Organised by The Final Straw Solent, The News and other local organisations, four events have taken place across the Solent today as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean – happening across the UK.
Along the shorelines at Eastney, as they walked up and down Ferry Road near the RNLI Portsmouth Lifeboat Station, locals found: 93 bags of rubbish, two tyres, six abandoned boats, a toilet cistern, a Cannonball, two fishing rods, a barbecue and more.
They filled six one tonne grab bags with rubbish and a 17ft skip.
Phil Carpenter, from marine wildlife conservation charity Sea Shepherd UK, helped to organise the Eastney clean along with The Final Straw Solent.
He said: ‘This is our second beach clean here. We held an emergency one in August and picked up 34 tyres and 74 refuse sacks to name a few things.
‘This time around we’ve found everything from sanitary towels to nappies, barbecues, sinks, a Cannonball, plastic bottles, you name it we’ve come across it.
‘There’s a lot of rubbish here because it’s a forgotten area which is a shame because it’s a beauty spot. There are a lot of caravans here at the moment which Portsmouth City Council is trying to remove, so litter comes from those, and people fly tip here too.’
A 2-pounder which the group think was possibly from an anti-aircraft gun was also found.
Bianca Carr, founder of The Final Straw Solent, said: ‘We’ve seen lots of cigarette butts. Some people don’t think they’re littering when they throw them on the floor but they are. We’re trying to create a change in the way people think there – that you must put your butts in the bin.
‘The Cannonball find is really exciting, that will be given to the Royal Marines Museum.
‘I couldn’t be happier with the turnout – more than 250 people – it’s absolutely amazing. We’re so grateful to The News and everyone for taking this event on and getting the message out there.
‘We’ve had support from the fire service, the RNLI, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment have been helping us out and we have 50 Cal Coffee too – it’s a community event not just a clean-up. Children have been going in the fire engines and on the boats.’
Other cleans have taken place at Southsea, Gosport and Hayling Island.
Judy Murray, 50, and daughter Tassia Murray, 17, picked up lots of different items.
Judy said: ‘We got lots of plastic, fishing nets and lines. There were plastic straws and glass lying everywhere. We’re raising awareness and that’s what it’s about.’
Tassia said: ‘We picked up a lot of electric cables, there was a lot of rubbish lying around. I’m doing an extended project at college and I can choose any topic, I chose plastic pollution in Portsmouth and an event like this shows you how bad the problem is.’