Tackling Butts and Boards on Cornwall Beaches
03 September 2010
The pioneering BeachCare project has launched two projects on Polzeath beach this week, to highlight the problems of cigarette litter and discarded body boards.
The project involves residents and community groups tackling the problem of litter on their local beaches. This not only involves removing litter but also understanding where it comes from and where possible, finding solutions. Already the issue of discarded body boards and cigarette butts has been highlighted and will form part of an awareness raising campaign championed by BeachCare and its partners.
Community volunteers, Cornwall Council Beach Rangers and BeachCare staff gave out free portable ashtrays to beach users on Wednesday and also trialed the cone-shaped beach ashtray, which people can use and return at the end of the day.
Neil Hembrow, project co-ordinator says, “Not only do our volunteers carry out clean-ups on their beaches, they also carry out litter surveys to gather information about the sources of litter. So far we have identified that the majority of litter comes in from the sea with fishing debris and plastic making up a sizeable proportion. Unfortunately beach users are also contributor and we are working closely with Cornwall Council to redress this”
The innovative pilot scheme – put together by Keep Britain Tidy in partnership with Cornwall Council, South West Water, Visit Cornwall and the Environment Agency also has groups working on Porthtowan, Widemouth and Bude beaches and is adding several new locations over the autumn and the winter.
Since May, 95 volunteers across all of the pilot beaches, have carried out 25 beach cleans, contributing 311 hours of their own time and collecting 123 full bin bags of litter. Along with members of the local community and surf clubs, organisations such as the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and BTCV are involved along with a number of local businesses.
500 of the portable ashtrays, called ‘minibins’ have been kindly donated by Smartstreets Limited and 200 beach ashtrays by EFS Limited; part of the cigarette litter campaign will be to evaluate the take up of these ashtrays. A number of shops, cafes and pubs are also handing out the ashtrays.
Find out more about the BeachCare project.