New council figures show people using the city’s beautiful beaches have dumped more than 300 tonnes of rubbish on the seafront over the summer.
Since the start of June our hard-working street cleansing staff have had to collect mountains of rubbish weighing the equivalent of 300,000 1 kg bags of sugar from the beach and seafront.
The shocking numbers show many people are still failing to remove the waste they take onto the beach, like bottles, cans, food wrapping and hundreds of different types of plastics items.
If they do take their waste off the beach, they’re leaving it beside already overflowing bins rather than finding a bin that isn’t full or taking it home.
Despite repeated calls from the council to residents and visitors to keep our beachfront clean and litter free, some people either don’t think or don’t care about the environmental damage they’re doing to the beach, sea and marine life.
Last month we reported a staggering 30 tonnes (30,000 kg) had been left on the beachfront in just one weekend, but these new figures show the problem is consistent.
Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “These figures are truly shocking and show we face a daily battle to protect our beach from those who are happy to leave their rubbish behind.
“But there’s no excuse. We have 500 bins along the seafront, our Cityclean teams are carrying out more collections than ever before and we have installed CCTV at Hove Lawns and the central beach area.”
At the weekend, we teamed up with local campaign groups Surfers Against Sewage and Leave No Trace Brighton to carry out a Zero Waste Beach Initiative and educate the public on the dangers of littering.
Volunteers from the two organisations ran beach cleans and encouraged beach users to not only remove their own rubbish when they leave, but also to dispose of any other waste they come across instead of leaving it behind.
At the same time, our enforcement officers educated the public on the dangers of littering and were prepared to hand out £150 fines for those who still choose to litter the area.
Cllr Heley added: “The day was a huge success and people we spoke to are very much behind the drive to beat those who leave their waste strewn along the beach and promenade.
“But the figures show there’s still a great deal to do before these people start seeing sense and understand that what they’re doing is selfish, dangerous and wrong.”
Stuart Davies, from Surfers Against Sewage, said: "These figures confirm what we knew from working on the ground - that our most natural precious asset is being laid to waste to on a daily basis.
“There are ample bins along the seafront, so the message is clear - if you come to use our beach, take your litter with you off the beach.
“It does extreme damage to our local marine life when rubbish is left to be washed into the sea by the incoming tide. If you don't remove your rubbish and you’re spotted then rightly you’ll be held to account for it with a significant fine."
We're experiencing issues displaying data in some of our maps. We're working with our supplier to fix this. We apologise for any inconvenience.