MCS volunteers help turn the tide on beach litter

Marine Conservation Society volunteers get to work at Brown's Bay. INLT 38-608-CON
Marine Conservation Society volunteers get to work at Brown's Bay. INLT 38-608-CON

a MOBILE phone was among 400 items found at Brown’s Bay during a clean-up organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) as part of the charity’s Beachwatch project.

Lead by Elena Aceves-Cully from Ballystrudder, 17 volunteers collected and recorded the rubbish along the beautiful stretch of beach.

The data will help MCS identify the main sources of litter on Brown’s Bay and keep the issue of the dangers of marine litter high on the local agenda.

The beach litter survey recorded a total of 400 items, with the top five items found on the day identified as plastic (small plastic pieces, drinks bottles, crisps and sweets wrappers and plastic bags, pieces of glass, cigarette stubs and dog dirt.

“Unusual items found included a a mobile phone, tennis ball and a large piece of metal. There were also significant numbers pieces of rope and of fishing line.

The beach survey showed that the major source of beach litter was beach visitors, in particular smokers, and anglers, who may forget to use public bins when taking food or drink, having a smoke or when disposing of their fishing gear.

“It is very welcome that the numbers recorded this time are much lower than last year, with several factors likely to have contributed to it, such as the Council cleaning the beach fives days a week during the summer months, poor summer weather, the recently supplied eco -ompactor bin - which allows for a much bigger of rubbish to be contained within - and higher awareness of beach users,” said Elena Aceves-Cully.

“Often people who visit the beach do not use bins provided, spoiling the beach for other visitors.

“Larne Council needs to ensure that adequate bins are provided and emptied regularly, but most importantly individuals must take responsibility for their own actions, and remember never to leave litter on the beach. It was also disappointing to find 22 dog faeces, despite the fact that dog litter bins are available nearby.

“All participants expressed an interest in doing this again in the future. I think it is a great way to make children in particular more aware of litter and of the need of keeping beaches clean.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Larne Council who provided us with equipment and the support of one of his employees during the clean up, Coca Cola for supplying drinks and Chapter 1 from Mullaghboy for sponsoring the event with free hot drinks,” she added.