Brighton beach rubbish clampdown includes £150 fines for litterbugs

Posted On 19 Aug 2021 at 11:13 am

The council and environmental groups are planning to patrol Brighton seafront for a rubbish clampdown, with litterbugs facing a £150 fine.

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We’ve teamed up with 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.

“This Saturday (21 August) our environmental enforcement officers will patrol the beach between the Palace Pier and West Pier which will be marked off as a ‘Zero Waste Beach Zone’.

“The officers will be educating the public on the dangers of littering but also handing out £150 fines for those who still choose to leave waste.

“At the same time, volunteers from Leave No Trace Brighton and Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) will be running beach cleans and encouraging beach goers 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.

“Despite our repeated calls for people to bin their rubbish responsibly or take it home, huge amounts of litter can still be seen on a daily basis while walking along the seafront.

“Not only is rubbish being left piled up around overflowing bins, it’s also strewn around the beach, leaving the sea and the life that lives there at risk.

“Some people still remain unaware – or sadly don’t care – about the damage that leaving their waste behind can cause.

“But by working to educate the public, Leave No Trace Brighton, SAS and ourselves hope to encourage people to be more aware of their behaviours and keep our beaches cleaner.”

Stuart Davies, from Surfers Against Sewage, said: “This is a great initiative to spotlight the issue of waste on our precious marine environment, to educate and guide those that their impact really does make a difference.”

Coral Evans, from Leave No Trace Brighton, said: “A vast percentage of waste, most of it single-use (plastic) packaging, is left on the beach by members of the public with little regard for the health of Brighton and Hove’s coastal environment, its wildlife or the 500-plus bins that stretch the length of Brighton and Hove seafront.

“Waste reduction is key in our efforts to become a low-carbon society and to reduce ocean pollution. We think the Zero Waste Beach Initiative will be a great way to engage the public and raise awareness of these environmental issues.”

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “With more than 500 bins along the seafront, more collections, CCTV and clear warnings about fines, there’s simply no excuse for littering.

“Yet this year has seen the highest amount of rubbish ever collected from the beach in one weekend, as some people seem to think it’s acceptable to leave their waste behind.

“Litter isn’t someone else’s problem. Keeping our beaches and seafront clean, tidy and litter-free is one of the most important ways we can protect nature and ensure our beautiful beach and seafront can be enjoyed for years to come.

“So this weekend’s Zero Waste Beach campaign once again sends the clearest possible message: dumping your waste on the seafront is unacceptable.

“From taking part in the beach cleans to learning how to reduce waste, the Zero Waste Beach is another way we can all play our part to stop litter and the damage it causes.”

Details of the event that members of the public can attend, including a beach clean and talking to all the groups involved, can be found here.

  1. Hove Guy Reply

    “Not only is rubbish being left piled up around overflowing bins, it’s also strewn around the beach, leaving the sea and the life that lives there at risk.
    Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “With more than 500 bins along the seafront, more collections, CCTV and clear warnings about fines, there’s simply no excuse for littering.

    So, is that more than 500 overflowing bins along the seafront, Mr MacCafferty?

  2. Billy Short Reply

    I hate litter and I do beach cleans and I’m sitting here wearing one of my Surfers Against Sewage t-shirts, but I don’t think this council has got this issue right at all.

    Litter is left by people, obviously, but to blame beachgoers for ALL of it, or to think you can educate them – or change their behaviour through fines – is wide of the mark.

    The amount of litter has increased in line with the pandemic ‘takeaway’ culture, and because on sunny days our seafront is outdoor party central.

    The underlying problem is then that the bins are not big enough for the amount of litter and packaging that most people want to dispose of responsibly, or else those bins have not been emptied. If the bins are overflowing then the wind spreads the litter around and the seagulls move in.

    It’s also clear that cleaning staff are not able to adapt to the busier days.
    And this is weird because the busier days are entirely predictable – namely when it’s sunny and hot.
    Visitor numbers also increase in holiday times and at weekends, but the weather is the main factor determining numbers using the beach.

    Our city centre beaches are now full of outdoor bars as never before, and this has created a culture where many people expect to go to the beach to get merry or drunk with friends. If you don’t want to sit in a bar then you can buy wine or beer at one of many seafront shops.
    Sooner or later beachgoers get hungry and they buy fish and chips or pizza, and then there’s sticky packaging to get rid of. This won’t get taken home because it’s sticky, and because the party probably continues elsewhere. So it’s then normal – and responsible – to want to put the packaging and drink empties in a bin, but that’s when we see piles of rubbish left by the un-emptied bins. On a hot and sunny day, you can almost set your clock by this.

    Moaning about the amount of litter, or blaming residents and visitors for the mess, or threatening with CCTV spies or fines, are not going to solve this predictable issue.

    Good luck with the beach patrol on Saturday – although you’ve not really picked a busy day, given the forecast which, at the moment, is for afternoon rain.

    • Roger the fish Reply

      Bit bizarre when the traditional end of the summer is 10 days away August bank holiday !

  3. D Holmes Reply

    May be in addition to encouraging people to clear their rubbish , many people staying in Brighton or indeed visiting there for the day, wont want to take smelly rubbish home with them so perhaps those 500 bins are too small. I also think that may be picking up other people’s rubbish whilst a great community idea could be fraught with danger . In D’Eftaling, the first ever theme park they have talking litter bins which say Bite every time a piece of rubbish is put into them may encourage youngsters to put their rubbish in . Also segregated bins for bottles, cans, food waste and more general rubbish seem like a good thought , but they all need to be big enough and quite clealry from teh reports teh existing bins are woefully inadequate.

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