Strong message to visitors after 'large amount of litter and waste' left at South Shields seafront
South Tyneside Council said a ‘large amount of litter and waste’ was found across the seafront this week, with environment teams working hard to clear up the mess.
Pictures taken by Gazette photographer Stu Norton show vans filled with bags of waste after sunny weather brought out the crowds ahead of Easter weekend.
Extra bins have also been rolled out by council teams, including around the large grassed area in South Marine Park , which is a popular meeting spot.
“We take great pride in our coastal area and our crews work extremely hard to keep it looking at its best,” said Andy Whittaker, the council’s corporate lead for town Centre and foreshore
“While we know most people dispose of their rubbish responsibly, there is a small minority of inconsiderate people who simply do not care.
"Walking away from litter left after a picnic or meeting with friends is not acceptable at all. It is also illegal, blights the area and poses a risk to other visitors, wildlife and marine life – if it is swept out to sea.
“We appreciate the good weather and easing of restrictions is bringing people to the coast for a catch up.
“We would urge people using any of our beaches, parks and open spaces to support our clean-up efforts and respect their local environment. Please put litter in the bins provided or take it home. There is no excuse for leaving it behind.”
He added: “This year we even brought forward our beach cleansing operations which includes mechanical cleaning of the beach as well as clearing wind-swept sand from footpaths to support people in social distancing.
"We have also installed additional wheelie bins in this area.”
South Tyneside Council had also earlier posted on Facebook urging people to keep the seafront tidy.
It read: “We understand that the ease of restrictions and good weather provided a great opportunity for people to catch up. We ask that residents do not leave their rubbish, especially on the beaches. Please take it to the nearest bin or home with you.”
The post drew in dozens of supportive comments bemoaning those who left litter, and comes after similar problems were reported elsewhere in the country after restrictions eased on March 29 and spring weather encouraged people outdoors.
One woman commented: “I wonder how many were actually our South Tyneside residents making this mess. Lots of kids there yesterday when our schools haven’t yet broken up.
"Agree though, council does a great job clearing it up each morning, as do our local volunteers.”
One man added: “I want to see-on-the-spot fines on the coast for littering. It’s just not acceptable.
"The whole coastal areas litter ends up on the beach. Not only does it make our amazing coast look a mess, it’s a lack of respect, it ends up in the sea and harms marine life as well as human… all that rubbish breaks down into micro plastics and ends up in your seafood. Just have some bloody respect.
"Put your rubbish in a bag and take it with you until you find a bin or TAKE IT HOME!”