Tag Archives: litter

Fingal’s beach litter shame


By Ciaran MCKEON

Wednesday June 10 2009

SKERRIES Tidy Towns Committee was forced to take the initiative and clean up their beach themselves because the council could not afford to hire a beach clean up crew. The beautiful sunshine over the bank holiday weekend saw locals and tourists flocking to the seaside to bask in the heat. With so many people using the beach there was bound to be rubbish but with no litter cleanup crews recruited this year much of it was left to be swept out to sea and strewn along the shore. Meave McGann of Skerries Tidy Towns said that bins on the beach were overflowing and that locals decided to pick up the rubbish themselves. Ms McGann said that the Government’s underfunding of local councils was to blame.

Skerries Beach left with rubbish strewn all over
it following the busy bank holiday weekend.

‘ The council should be able to employ people to do this job. They can’t run their services unless the Government give them the money they need to do so.

‘In this climate we’ll be looking towards tourism to help us out. The Government should realise that all coastal towns, not just Skerries, could be an asset.’

In Portmarnock there was not a single bin on the beach and the two at the main entrance were soon overflowing.

County councillor and long-time beach advocate, Peter Coyle, said that the council could not ignore the beaches.

‘All beach maintenance cannot be dropped instantaneously. Fingal County Council is losing a lot of credibility at the moment. Portmarnock Beach is the only beach in Fingal that can get a Blue Flag in 2010. It looks like that it will fail because of the lack of litter control.’

Beach sweeping machinery did return to Portmarnock on Tuesday and a crew was working on the grass but unlike last year this will not be a regular service. Ms McGann also urged beach-goers to take everything they can back home with them.

She said that the Tidy Towns committee was also launching a campaign to encourage walkers to pick up litter as they enter and leave the beach.

Fingal’s beaches were already dealt a heavy blow earlier this month when the Environmental Protection Agency reported that four beaches failed the minimum standards for water quality.

– Ciaran MCKEON

Read the original article from the Fingal Independant


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Shocking beach litter in Naples

As featured on Corona Save the Beach


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What to do when a dirty beach ruins your holiday?

For most of us, our summer holiday is a much anticipated event. We save up, book a long time in advance, ask the boss for time off work, buy new clothes – in short – it is a big deal!

What happens then, when you reach your destination or resort, head for the beach, only to discover it’s nothing like the brochure promised. Those turquoise seas and white beaches are replaced by litter,debris and runaway construction work. Filthy streams or sewage pipes running down into the sea; which turns out to be a grey foamy mess of floating plastic bags or worse? We don’t always have transport on holiday so quite often we’re stuck with what’s within walking distance of where we’re staying.

Many of us are rightly very upset and disappointed by this situation. In the UK, we have a certain ‘watchdog’ mentality of recording the probelms we encounter on holiday. This is great if something gets done about it, but often we just receive an apology from the holiday company, perhaps a partial refund if we’re lucky. But the beach? Nothing gets done.

What to do about it?

  • Firstly do bear in mind that in most cases the hotel you are staying at will not be directly responsible for the beaches nearby (unless it’s their own private beach). However if the beaches are advertised in their brochures as part of the holifay and include pictures which are misrepresentative, then it’s my opinion that you have a right to complain.
  • While you’re still away , complain to the tour company representative in the resort straight away. The rep should provide you with a customer complaint form.
  • Take photographs or video footage to back you up
  • Back home, there are plenty of travel community sites like www.tripadvisor.com where you can register and write reviews of the places you’ve visited. This lets others know what to expect of the same desitinations.
  • Keep writing those letters of complaint, to both the agent you booked with and also directly to the hotel. If they don’t know they won’t be able to fix it! Don’t assume someone else will make a complaint, or leave it weeks and weeks before you get round it. Anythng over 28 days is too long
  • If you can find out who the local council is that is charge of the beach, write to them too.

Corona Save The Beach – Getting something done

This summer, one of the best ways of getting something done about dirty beaches on holiday is to send in your photo or video evidence to Corona Save The Beach

Corona have pledged to clean up and protect the worst beaches in Europe and the UK – and keep them that way. Visitors to the website can vote on which beaches they consider to be in most need of help. This is a sure fire way of getting attention where it’s needed.

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Travel advice: Beware beach guides

Guides to the best of Britain’s beaches do not necessarily tell the whole story, advises Sophie Butler.

For most of us, the summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the seaside. But how can you make sure you choose a beach that isn’t littered and contaminated by polluted water?

You might imagine that the Good Beach Guide 2009, launched by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) earlier this month, would be the answer. But it doesn’t give the whole picture.

What it does give you is information about the seawater. It includes details of its water testing for more than 770 beaches in the UK, listing the top 370 beaches that pass the EC’s most stringent “guideline” water tests, those that pass the less demanding “mandatory” levels; it also names 78 blacklisted beaches where the water fails the minimum legal standards.

But it doesn’t tell you how clean the sand is, how well managed the beach facilities are, whether the dog ban is effective, litter is picked up, swimming and watersports are properly zoned or the lifeguards are doing a good job.

Thomas Bell, of the MCS, defends the guide. He says: “The beaches we recommend are good from the MCS’s point of view and the purpose of the guide has always been foremost about promoting and campaigning for better bathing water quality.”

The truth is that there’s no single award scheme that tells you all you might want to know about a beach. However, below are details of the schemes that will be operating around our coast this summer and what they tell us.
2009 Beach Award Schemes

MCS Recommended Beach (www.goodbeachguide.co.uk). Gives details of water quality and sewage discharges at resort and rural beaches. You can read the full list on our website at telegraph.co.uk/travel.

Blue Flag (www.blueflag.org.uk). European-wide scheme indicating large, well-managed resort beaches where water reaches the highest guideline standard.

Quality Coast Award (www.qualitycoast.org). Launched by Keep Britain Tidy to pinpoint smaller resorts with good facilities, or larger resorts where water quality passes minimum required standards but not the higher levels demanded by Blue Flag.

Seaside Award (www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org). Run by Keep Scotland Beautiful and divided into Resort and Rural categories. Beaches must be well-managed and meet the lowest water standards.

Green Coast Award (www.keepwalestidy.org). Operated by Keep Wales Tidy and highlights the country’s quiet, less-developed beaches where water quality passes the highest EC water standards.

Read the original article from the Telegraph

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Britain’s dirtiest beaches 2009

(This article can be read in it’s original form at Virgin Media)

Failed British beaches for bad water quality

It’s a bad year for Britain’s beaches, with almost half of our favourite sunbathing spots announced as not “recommended” for swimming. Only 370 out of 777 British beaches, tested by the Marine Conservation Society, were “recommended” for their water quality.

We’ve rated Britain’s beaches to find the dirtiest.

9. South West beaches not making the water grade: 13

Last summer’s heavy rains attributed to poor water-quality in South West England, as a mixture of storm-pollution from combined sewer overflows, and animal waste from livestock, washed off farmland across the coast South East and into the sea.

Still, South West beaches still maintain the best water quality in the British Isles.

Failed beaches

Cornwall: Rock, Porth Beach, Porthluney Cove, Par, Readymoney, Looe East and Seaton beach.

Devon: Combe Martin, Instow, Mothercombe and Exmouth beach.

Plymouth: Plymouth Hoe – east and west beaches.

8. Northern Ireland beaches not making the water grade: 1

Although only one beach failed, compared to three last year, Northern Ireland continues to suffer from storm run-off carrying material like fertilisers and animal waste to sea. The heavy summer rainfall didn’t help. The province is investing £420 million to clean up the shoreline.

Failed beach

Down: Ballyholm

7. South East beaches not making the water grade: 2

Water pollution problems in the South East can be attributed to the region’s high population density coupled with extensive new housing developments, leading to storm pollution running off city streets and through emergency storm overflows into rivers and the sea.

Failed beaches

East Sussex: Bexhill

Kent: Sandgate Beach

6. Channel Islands beaches

Channel Islands – the only place in Britain where water quality has improved.

Beaches not making the water grade: 1

The Channel Islands, which were criticised heavily last year, was the only British region to show any improvement – rising by 37.5 per cent thanks to the much improved quality of Jersey beaches. The beaches have improved thanks to years of campaigning in conjunction with Surfers Against Sewage. The States of Guernsey have finally committed to invest in a new high tech sewage treatment plant.

Failed beach

Guernsey: Pembroke Bay.

5.  North East beaches not making the water grade: 5

Five beaches failed the minimum water quality. But, despite the poor weather, long stretches of coastline in Lincolnshire and Northumberland are now notable for consistently high water quality. However, Staithes, North Yorkshire has failed 17 times in the past 21 years. Not a place to take a dip.

Failed beaches

North Yorkshire: Staithes

Durham: Seaham Hall Beach

Sunderland : Seaburn Beach (Whitburn North)

North Tyneside: Seaton Sluice beach.

4. Scottish beaches not making the water grade: 17

In Scotland one in seven of 109 beaches tested did not reach the minimum standards. Due to the tenth wettest summer on record last year, MCS largely blames the drop in water quality on an increase in storm pollution. However, the Scottish Environment Agency is investing £2.15 billion to clean up the beaches.

Failed beaches

East Lothian: Dunbar – Belhaven, North Berwick – Milsey Bay, Fisherrow – West Beach.

City of Edinburgh: Portobello – Central James Street, Portobello – West (Kings Street) Beach.

Fife: Lower Largo, St Andrews – West Sands Beach.

Aberdeenshire: Aberdeen – Ballroom, Cruden Bay, Rosehearty.

Argyle & Bute: Ettrick bay, Bute Beach.

North Ayrshire: Saltcoats, Stevenston, Largs – Pencil, Largs- Main Beach.

South Ayrshire: Barassie and Greenan Beach.

Dumfries & Galloway: Sandyhills Beach.

3.  Welsh beaches not making the water grade: 30

One in six of its 180 beaches failed the water tests; that’s double-the-amount of beaches failing from last year. Although it’s not really the residents’ fault.

Welsh beaches are particularly vulnerable to storm pollution run-off from farmland, which carries fertiliser and animal waste into the sea. Add to that the high number of combined sewer outflows in the north and south of Wales. Still, Wales has a lot of cleaning up to do if they want to improve on their beaches.

Failed beaches

Credigion: Ynyslas – Twyni Beach (Estuary), Aberareon – Harbour (Forth), Little Quay (Cei Beach), Gilfach yr Halen, Llanina, New Quay – North Beach, Cwmtydu, Penbryn Beach.

Pembrokeshire: Abercastle, Nolton Haven, Gelliswick, Milford Haven, Wisemans Bridge Beach

Carmarthenshire: Llanstephan & Tywi Estuary, Ferryside Beach, Burry Port Beach – East, Llanelli & Loughor Estuary (Forth) Beach.

Neath & Port Talbot: Jersey Marine – West Beach.

Bridgend: Porthcawl – Newton Bay.

Vale of Glamorgan: Ogmore Central, Llantwit Major Beach, Limpert Bay, Aberthaw Barry – Watch House Bay, Penarth Beach.

2.  North West beaches not making the water grade: 6

Six beaches failed the minimum water quality. The majority of sewage is treated, but it’s clear that pollution from combined sewer overflows and storm run-offs is seriously affecting the majority of beaches in the North West.

Failed beaches

Northumberland: Spittal

Cumbria: Allonby, Newbiggin and Aldingham Beach.

Lancashire : Morecambe- South, Cleveleys and Fleetwood Beach.

Blackpool: Bispham Beach.

1.  Isle of Man  – the worst of the lot

Beaches not making the water grade: 3 beaches

On the Isle of Man only one beach out of 18 was recommended. Three beaches failed the water quality. The north and the west of the island are yet to be connected to the improved sewage system, and this means that raw excrement is still being pumped into the sea at a number of places.

The dangers of swimming in polluted water range from ear, throat, skin and eye infections to gastroenteritis, e-coli and even acute febrile respiratory illness, the MCS warned.

Failed beaches

Isle of Man : Douglas – Central, Douglas – Broadway, Garwick, Gansey Bay (NyCarrickey) Beach.

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