December 17, 2017
30 sackfuls of rubbish collected in Burnham-On-Sea beach clean

30 sackfuls of plastic waste were collected from Burnham-On-Sea beach by an army of volunteers on Saturday (December 16th).

A team of 30 helpers - including Burnham's MP James Heappey - took part in the clean-up along the river banks and beach from the jetty to the Sailing Club.

The BBC's Blue Planet programme and a new campaign to make Burnham-On-Sea beaches plastic-free have boosted local interest in the clean-up efforts.

Organiser Mark Hollidge told "Wow, what a morning - 15 newcomers bolstered our existing group and took us up to 30 volunteers, our largest ever number."

"Several of the new volunteers commented that they had felt inspired by the Blue Planet TV programme to come along and have a go."

"We cleared the river estuary section and the beach from the jetty down to the sailing club. We were delighted that the MP and a couple of local councillors took part - and one of our volunteers came from as far away as Chippenham!"

"We collected 30 sacks of waste - which is more than ever before - as well as three car tyres, two traffic cones, six bread baskets and various plastic tubs and buckets. As usual, most of the waste was plastic - a large number of cotton buds and straws were picked up."

MP James Heappey told "It was a brilliant turnout today, the product of both people being moved by what they saw on TV with Blue Planet but also because earlier this week Burnham and Highbridge Town Council did exactly the right thing in adopting the motion to try and make this part of Somerset a plastic-free coastline."

The MP added: "I think people feel motivated that the case - they know that there's too much plastic in the sea and on the beach and there's an element of wanting to our bit locally. It's great to see people responding to that."

Burnham's MP James Heappey with Cllr Peter Clayton and Burnham's new coastal commnunity officer Tanya Cox

Volunteers donned orange jackets and were given litter pickers, plastic gloves and waste bags to collect the waste.

Several large pieces of polysterene and plastic break baskets were found washed up on the beach and river banks.

The team collected three car tyres, two traffic cones, six bread baskets and various plastic tubs and buckets during the morning.

Mark Wakeling from the campaign group Surfers Against Sewage was among those taking part in Saturday's beach clean in Burnham.

Several local councillors took part including Phil Harvey and Peter Clayton

Among the items collected during the clean-up were large amounts of decaying plastics that showed signs of being pecked by birds.


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