Clean Devon take action against beach litter

On Monday 29 May, the Clean Devon partnership, together with Ruda Holiday Park which is owned by Parkdean Resorts, and Plastic Free North Devon (PFND), came together for a day of action to raise awareness about the impact of beach littering on our coastlines and to encourage people to play their part in keeping our beaches clean.

The aim of the event was to prevent a repeat of the large-scale littering that took place last year on Croyde Beach in North Devon and to remind individuals of their responsibility to take only pictures and leave only footprints. This message applies to all coastlines across Devon.

The action day featured a staged litter pile; showing the types of litter commonly cleared by the Ruda team, advice and information, and a community litter pick, where enthusiastic and passionate beach users joined in to deep clean the beach removing a staggering 31.14KG of litter.

Principal Waste Manager from Devon County Council and Clean Devon Co-ordinator, Annette Dentith, says: “On behalf of Clean Devon, I would like to express my thanks to the exceptional volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to conduct the clean-up. Many bags were filled with various items, including bottles, cans, polystyrene from broken bodyboards, netting, wrappers, takeaway packaging and much more. It was also great to hear from enthusiastic locals and holiday makers who already play their part to protect the natural beauty of our environment, recognising the negative and harmful impacts of litter in the marine environment.

“The battle against beach litter is far from over but by raising awareness and demonstrating our commitment as a partnership, we hope to encourage more people to consider their impact when visiting the beach.”

Lead Member for Waste and Recycling at North Devon Council, Cllr David Knight, says: “By collectively taking action, we can all ensure that future generations can relish in the beauty and tranquillity of our coastlines. North Devon is known for its stunning coastal beauty and as a partnership, we aimed to encourage individuals to take responsibility for their rubbish and dispose of it responsibly. Education can help individuals understand and appreciate the impact they have on an environment, when they leave rubbish and unwanted items behind. Following on from the many conversations I had with members of the public who participated, I believe the day was a great success.

Clean Devon is calling upon everyone to embrace their role as ambassadors of the environment, spreading the message of preservation and respect for the cherished beaches we all enjoy.

Individuals are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled for media captured on the day which will be shared on partner social channels following the event.

Running alongside Clean Devon’s anti beach litter campaign, PFND is holding it’s ‘visitor campaign’ this summer, for its fifth consecutive year. The campaign offers free resources and support for local businesses to operate sustainably and encourages visitors to do the same. For more information and to get involved, please visit PFND’s website.