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Big Conversation: How can we clean up our beaches?
12:04pm Thursday 17th April 2014 in Echo News
During a two-day litter-pick 40 volunteers filled at least one bin bag of rubbish each from Southend’s beaches.
JAMES DONNELLY, 43, FROM SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE
“I’ve been volunteering to clear up my local beaches with Surfers Against Sewage and you wouldn’t believe how many blue cotton buds we find. The reason they’re there is because people are flushing them down the toilet and they’re ending up in the sea.
People don’t realise that’s where they end up and I don’t blame them. I think it should say on the packaging “do not flush” and people should be made aware they shouldn’t be flushing anything like that.”
ROGER FISHER, 60, OWNER OF DOODAHS
“Generally speaking, Cory do a good job of litter picking and keeping the beach pretty clean as they’re out there in force, but one of the big issues is the general public. We’ve got a good number of bins, but people can’t always be bothered to use them and just drop stuff where they stand. I’ve got a bin ten feet away from the front door of Doodahs and people still can’t manage to get their litter in it. We need a bit of education to encourage people to use the bins.”
PETER GRUBB, 65, OWNER OF UNCLE TOM’S CABIN
“There’s a very simple answer which is for the council to spend more money on their contractor Cory. Every year they claim to do more for less, but there’s something wrong somewhere. They used to remove washed up seaweed and tidy the beach, but now they don’t bother. When you don’t want to do something, you find an environmental regulation so you don’t have to do it. Seaweed is natural, but when it has tampons and plastic straws in it, it’s another matter. ”
MARTIN RICHARDSON, 48, OWNER OF HAPPIDROME ARCADE, MARINE PARADE
“Cory Environmental does a really good job on the seafront. You find them out from 7am and they clean up the litter. That’s one thing you can say about Southend, it does look after its beaches, especially City Beach. Most people take their rubbish with them or pile it up next to the rubbish bins. As a rule Southend is very clean. With different beaches you are going to get the usual debris, but you find the council is on top of that.”
TONY COX, COUNCILLOR RESPONSIBLE FOR WASTE
“I think the Love Southend campaign introduced last year is doing its job. We have tonnes of rubbish bins along the seafront which are regularly cleared by Cory so it’s a case of saying to people please don’t leave rubbish on the beach. We know it’s the place to be, but please deposit your rubbish in the bins. Litter pickers can’t be weaving in and out of people while they’re on the beach so it’s about educating people to do it themselves.”
DEREK JARVIS, COUNCILLOR FOR LEISURE
“The council works closely with Anglian Water to keep our shores clean and they spend a lot of their own money tracking down people who connect things like washing machines so the waste goes straight out to sea. Banning dogs from the beach has also made a contribution in keeping the shore clean, but it’s dog mess in the street we need to tackle now because, when a storm comes, it all ends up in the sea.”
PAUL THOMPSON, 40, SEAFRONT TRADERS ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN
“I think we need to educate people about picking their rubbish up. The beaches are always cleaned for the next day by the council and Cory, who do a great job, so we don’t do too badly, but it’s an unfortunate fact that people do leave rubbish. There are plenty of dustbins around, but I see people leaning against them and chucking their rubbish on the floor. I think it’s a problem with society in general we need to change.”
BOB CRAVEN, ORGANISER OF THE TRAM STOP PROJECT, THORPE BAY
“The beaches are better than they have been for years. There are some disrespectful people who don’t care, but since the installation of the new blue bins along the seafront, it reminds people to take their rubbish home or use them. The problem we have with litter is more to do with what people throw away in the sea – plastic bottles and that sort of rubbish – coming back in with the tide. I was walking along the seafront with my wife the other day and I thought how well Cory had cleaned up Marine Parade.”
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