‘Turning the tide’ on litter at Browns Bay beach clean

Volunteers at Browns Bay for the beach clean up. INCT 39-701-CON
Volunteers at Browns Bay for the beach clean up. INCT 39-701-CON

Over 40 local volunteers have helped turn the tide on litter during the annual beach clean-up and survey of Browns Bay, Islandmagee.

The event was organised by Elena Aceves-Cully from Ballystrudder, with help from Mullaghdubh PS, Nicola Murray from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

The survey recorded a record total of 781 items, with the top six items being plastic pieces (209), wood pieces (41), plastic bottles and lids (51), cigarette stubs (29), glass pieces (46) and ceramic pieces (30).

Elena said: “Often people who visit the beach do not use bins provided, spoiling the beach for other visitors. Individuals must take responsibility for their own actions, and remember never to leave litter on the beach.

“All participants expressed an interest in doing this again in the future. I think it is a great way to make children in particular more aware of litter and of the need to keep our beaches clean.

“I would like to thank Larne Borough Council once more for providing us with cleaning equipment and materials as well as in picking up the rubbish after the event.

“The environmentally friendly compacting bins in place at Browns Bay ensure that no matter how many visitors are using the beach, they don’t fill up.

“I am also very grateful to Mullaghdubh Primary School for involving so many of their parents and their children in the event.”

Ms Aceves Cully went on to express concerns about the level of erosion at the site in recent years.

“Most of the rocks which once protected the beach on both sides have been washed away since I started surveying this beach 10 years ago,” she added.

“If we don’t protect the sand on this beach, in another 10 years or so there will be little left of it.”

Beachwatch took place over the weekend of September 18-20 on beaches all over the UK. Data recorded at each survey has been sent to the MCS to identify the quantities and sources of marine and coastal litter.

MCS will use these results at a national level to campaign against these sources of litter and this can be found at www.mcsuk.org.