Monday 23 April 2018

Volunteers' disgust as photographs show tide of rubbish on beach after heatwave weekend - just one week after massive clean-up

Volunteers removed '15 tonnes of litter' from Irish coastline

Discarded rubbish and overflowing bins at Myrtleville Beach, Cork. Photo: Howard Crowdy
Discarded rubbish and overflowing bins at Myrtleville Beach, Cork. Photo: Howard Crowdy

Sasha Brady

A Cork photographer captured scenes of deplorable conditions on a local beach this weekend.

Howard Crowdy's photographs show bins overflowing with rubbish and discarded items, including plenty of plastic waste, strewn across the sand and on the steps leading down to the beach.

Mr Crowdy said he came across “broken bottles, dirty nappies, discarded shoes, towels, backpacks and rubbish” during his visit to Myrtleville beach.

This weekend saw temperatures soar to 27 degrees in some parts of the country with Cork experiencing long spells of uninterrupted sunshine.

Sun-seekers flocked to the beaches to take advantage of the Mediterranean-like temperatures.

But a massive excess of rubbish was left behind by beach-goers.

These scenes at the Cork beach reflect the amount of litter on Irish beaches that's been reported by An Taisce's Clean Coast organisation.

Sinead McCoy, a spokesperson for An Taisce, said that "over 130 clean ups took place over last week" across the country as part of Coca-Cola Clean Coasts week.

"Seeing this destruction of such a stunning beach is terribly saddening especially as it follow a week where Clean Coasts programme engaged over 2,300 volunteers helping to clean up their local beaches as part of Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week," Ms McCoy said.

It is estimated that the Clean Coast volunteers removed approx 15 tonnes of litter from the coastline last week.

Ms McCoy urged people who visit Irish beaches this summer to take all they brought to the beach home with them as the first step in reducing marine litter.

She also encouraged beach-goers to take part in the Department of Housing, Planning Community and Local Government's #2minutebeachclean campaign.

"This is a international campaign asking individuals that every time your are on a beach, pick up a bit of litter and pop it in the bin, if there are no bins on the beach pop it in the nearest bin or your bin at home.

"Every piece of litter removed from the beach makes a difference and if we work together we can reduce the impact of our actions on our coastline and the marine environment."

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