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‘Shock’ and ‘disgust’ at rubbish left on beach and in Sidmouth town centre

PUBLISHED: 12:28 14 March 2018

Some of the rubbish found by the warriors.

Some of the rubbish found by the warriors.

Archant

Dog muck, dead birds tied up in fishing debris and other rubbish was found on Sidmouth’s beach and town centre, leaving clean up volunteers ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’.

The bags of rubbish collected in the clean up. The bags of rubbish collected in the clean up.

Sidmouth Plastic Warriors, on a tidy up mission, descended on the town over the weekend.

More than 50 volunteers gave up two hours of their time to collect dozens of bottles, plastics, glass, carrier bags, metal and all sorts of other weird stuff on the beach, Ham and in town centre.

Denise Bickley, of Sidmouth Plastic Warriors, said it was very disturbing to discover the huge amount of plastic in the grills running along the centre of the beach. She added they were also shocked by the amount of fishing debris that they picked up.

Denise said: “The warriors found four birds, all with fishing wire wrapped around them. So not only is the plastic causing harm as it breaks down, it also does untold damage to wildlife.

Sidmouth Plastic Warriors at a previous event. Sidmouth Plastic Warriors at a previous event.

“We also found the usual large amount of bagged dog poo, which is also a health hazard as well as being disgusting. This seems to be getting worse, not better.”

The warriors are now calling on people to think about what they are using – encouraging them to use degradable bags, so if they do throw them in the bushes it is not so ‘catastrophic’, or to better yet to just bin in.

Denise said the amount of rubbish they found also illustrated the problem of fast food containers and how they needed to be biodegradable ie cardboard and not polystyrene.

She added they would like to push their ‘refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle’ motto to all residents, tourists and businesses in the town.

Denise said they needed more businesses to make positive changes to get rid of single use plastic items and get rid of things like plastic straws and switch to using glass bottles or cans for drinks. She added: “Thanks to everyone who turned. There were also hundreds of people out walking and enjoying the sun so many conversations were had, and ‘seeds’ were planted.”

The next clean up will take place on April 14 – volunteers will be meeting at Sidmouth Sailing Club, on the seafront, at 10am. The event is one organised on behalf of Surfers Against Sewage.

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