South Shields beach tidied of litter during national clean-up campaign

Volunteers turned out in South Tyneside to take part in a worldwide movement aimed at turning the tide on marine litter.

Marsden Bay in South Shields, was the focus of a clean-up operation as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Great British Beach Clean.

Volunteers taking part in the National Trust beach clean-up at Marsden Bay.

Volunteers taking part in the National Trust beach clean-up at Marsden Bay.

The global event was supported by supermarket chain Waitrose and backed by The National Trust.

Last year, 268,384 individual items of litter were collected at 364 events by almost 6,000 volunteers.

Rubbish included sandwich containers, crisp, sweet and lolly wrappers.

The clean-up is part of MCS’s wider Beachwatch programme, which aims to highlight the issues of beach litter around the UK’s coastline.

Volunteers involved in the National Trust beach clean at Marsden Bay.

Volunteers involved in the National Trust beach clean at Marsden Bay.

Eric Wilton, general manager of the National Trust, Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, said: “We have been picking up litter along the beach and recording what we have picked up over a 100-metre stretch.

“We will inform the Marine Conservation Society of the type of mess we have on our beaches so we can encourage companies to reduce their use of plastics and reduce their waste overall.”

This year, thanks to recycling firm TerraCycle, for the first time much of the plastic removed from beaches will be sorted and recycled.

Rigid plastic and cigarette stubs collected will be turned into shampoo bottles and advertising boards.

The volunteers logged the amount and type of rubbish they collected.

The volunteers logged the amount and type of rubbish they collected.

Dougie Holden, National Trust ranger at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, who organised the beach clean-up, said: “The tide of litter washing up on our shores is not just unpleasant to look at, it can harm and even kill some of our best-loved marine wildlife.

“Plastic packaging and discarded fishing nets also injure, entangle and drown some of Britain’s favourite marine animals, including seals and dolphins.

For information, visit www.mcsuk.org.